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Rodeo weekend wins award

It was a moment, to make Virden proud, as from the back tables of the Sunrise Credit Union Hall, cowboy hats could be seen rising above the crowd.
Virden Rodeo
Some members of the Virden Indoor Rodeo & Wild West Daze committee accept the Event of the Year award, (l-r) Herb Warkentin, Steve Dryden, Gwen More, Charlotte Artyshko, Lyle Brown, and Everett More. On behalf of Leech Printing, Dean Jago is presenting the award, along with President of Tourism Westman, Tannis Chalmers. Photo/Anne Davison

It was a moment, to make Virden proud, as from the back tables of the Sunrise Credit Union Hall, cowboy hats could be seen rising above the crowd. Members of the Indoor Rodeo &
Wild West Daze committee made their way to the front to receive the Westman Tribute to Tourism Award, on May 27.

At this 12th Annual Tribute to Tourism the rodeo weekend was branded Event of the Year.

Held this year, for the first time, outside of Brandon at Virden’s Tundra Oil & Gas Place, this award was a fitting win for the event known as Virden’s signature event of the summer season.

Everett More, President of the Virden Indoor Rodeo & Wild West Daze shared the excitement he felt as Dean Jago, for Leech Printing described the award.

“My heart was pounding as it was getting closer and closer and closer.... I didn’t think it would because it’s not me getting the award. It’s our committee and our sponsors.”

In one form or another, the rodeo weekend touches many people within Virden and the surrounding area. More has seen the roots and the growth of this rodeo.

He points to another pioneer of the event. “Lyle Brown, because of his rodeo background, was right in the thick of organizing it, from the very start.”

The event followed on the heels of the Firefighters weekend. The western rodeo was added. More recalls, “All the service clubs of the whole town were involved. So what we have endeavored to do is to keep that spirit and that cooperation going.”

The president of the organization acknowledged, “It means a lot to me, to see the event and the people that work at it, recognized.”

He is speaking of the 100 plus sponsors and 400 volunteers.

The application form was lengthy and More applauded a committee member for that work.

“A big tribute to Lindsay White. He certainly got some help from some of the other board members, but Lindsay was the guy who did most of the writing.” White acknowledged that
the application was challenging. “I think it really made us take a good hard look at ourselves.”

After over 25 years of success, (Rodeo of the Year 12 times), “The challenge for the committee now is to keep it fresh,” White said, alluding to new events and the new members coming
on the board.

The economic impact is one of the criteria for this award. Virden is a bustling place for that weekend in August.

More commented, “You can’t get a place to eat, you can’t get a hotel room. And people don’t come to town just to watch the rodeo. They do something else when they’re here. On
top of that, we feel it puts Virden on the map,” He says with satisfaction. “As a Virden area resident, I think it’s great to have the community pull together.”

Virden’s mayor, Jeff McConnell said, “The rodeo has done so much for our region. Many events start to lose steam after time, but the Rodeo just keeps getting better and keeping
things fresh.”

Last year, the Wheat City Stampede was the winner of this tourism award.