3 Days to the Heritage Gathering on July 1st!


Ranch Challenge Teams:

Woodjam Ranch
153 Mile Ranch
River Ranch
Stump lake
Chilco ranch
Douglas Lake
Douglas Lake
Gang Ranch
Flying O Ranch

Events are:

8:30 am:

Top Horse

11 am:

2 man doctoring
Head/Heel branding
Wild cow milking
Wild horse race

Wild Cowgirl Race daily winners who will complete July 1 for grand prize (Saddle and money)

Unique Events at the Williams Lake Stampede

Part II (See the Williams Lake Stampede Facebook and Instagram pages for part I.)

The events brought back by the Stampede Association were:
A Re-birth of the Mountain Race that dates back to the 1920’s when cowboys raced down the side of Fox Mtn. This was reinstated due to an error in a 1993 poster, rather than re-print, the Association decided to re-introduce the once famous race. The race in 1993 started in Boitanio Park across Oliver Street down the hill near the Trail Riders Arena onto the track and into the arena. Today the race starts at the top of the hill near Boitanio Mall on the south side of Oliver Street, down the hillside onto the racetrack and into the arena full of screaming fans. This event continues to be one of the attractions for spectators to the rodeo.
Ranch Challenge: an event where bonified ranchers or employees of that ranch could compete for a trophy. Events included (wild cow milking, pony express and cattle penning).
The Ranch Challenge continues to be an event at the Williams Lake Stampede with July 1, 2019 being dedicated to the event.Top Dog Competition where the owner tests their dog handling and cattle penning abilities. This competition used to occur Saturday and Sunday prior to the Rodeo.
This event eventually stopped, but would be a great event to bring back in the future1995:
Friday Family Night was introduced with children under 12 entering through the gates for free. This continues today with Friday evening also being a solute to our military. Wear Red in support.

C+ Rodeo Roy Call started hosting an animal athletic tour behind the bucking chutes. Roy continues this tradition today as he explains the different animals; their events, how they are used and looked after along with the equipment used by the cowboys and safety precautions.

The name “Bronc Buster trade fair” was created, providing continued entertainment, vendors, and demonstrations.

New but past traditional event was the Wagon Train, a 5-day adventure in wagons or on horse back from Chezacut put on by Roy and

Gwen Mulvahill, which followed the old cattle trails to Williams Lake. 

Today the wagon rides continue to come into Williams Lake for Stampede Weekend. Annual Xeni Gwet’in Youth Wagon ride is in its 10th year

 spending 8 days on the road before entering during the grand entry at the Williams Lake Stampede.

Gwen and Roy Mulvahill continue to be a big part of this trip.
Ulkatcho has 14 participants joining the wagon trip this year.


Part II How the LET R BUCK Saloon Got It’s Name

Check out the Williams Lake Stampede Facebook or Instagram page for Part I of this story!

LET R BUCK Saloon Started out being called the “Beer Gardens.”
Director, Vince Hoffman was in charge of bringing in entertainment for the “Grandstand Show”. The arena tractor would pull the grandstand stage from the side of the racetrack into the arena for these performances. Over time it became too expensive, and was costing more money to put on these shows than was coming in. In 2001 the decision was made to stop the grandstand performances. The committee decided to take the portable stage and bring it all the way around to the back of the grand stands and set up smaller shows. (Harry) Williamson Paving donated the paving and a dance floor was created.
The idea of the open air “Beer Gardens” with entertainment was to go back to the early Stampede days when people danced in the open air during the stampede weekend.
Once Liquor laws allowed for the outdoor “Beer Garden,” a fence was built and admission charged for Saturday evening performances. It was called the “Beer Gardens” for the first few years until Harry Williamson came up with the name of LET ER BUCK, it is believed that he got the name from traveling to Pendleton Rodeo. He thought it would be a great idea to have a name for the Stampede Beer Gardens.
The first sign was a banner that was hung up each year. The Banner had the Spelling of LET ER BUCK on it.
Vince and his team provided Karaoke, and local talents during the day with bigger named bands to play 8 pm to closing. As the crowds grew larger and more evenings of dancing and entertainment were added; in 2007 the City of Williams Lake approved an expansion of the dance floor. The stage was moved back and Williamson Paving put in a larger dance floor.
Around 2008 or 2009 when it was decided to have a wooden sign made, Director Glen Thompson who owned Tell Tale Signs donated his time and supplies to design and complete a wooden sign. The wooden sign read LET R BUCK with no E in it and the Stampede programs started to show the new name of LET R BUCK with a backwards R around that same time.
A new stage was built in 2014 by Durfeld Log homes supplying the materials and logs. The new stage matched all of the log structures at Stampede Park.
Today Lorne Doerkson and Cindy Brady run the LET R BUCK Saloon, with Local talents during the day and bands in the evening for entertainment.
There is a heavy presence of Security and RCMP during the evenings of entertainment with safe rides home being offered by Adventure Charters and or use of the local taxi companies.

So how did the Let R Buck really get it’s name?
Was it after a horse called LET ER BUCK ridden by Joe Elkins in 1924? That would have been cool.
Was it named by Harry Williamson after travelling to The USA rodeos?
Was the LET R BUCK / Bear Garden created to provide that open air entertainment that the stampede had many years ago? Rain or shine the place is always full and rocking in the evenings.
You decide which of the two are correct. What we truly know is that the LET R BUCK Saloon, has become its own legend at the Williams Lake Stampede, with crowds filling the space each night of the rodeo starting on Thursday evening, building up Friday night and exploding at the seams on Saturday just like in the 1970’s at the old arena and the Squaw Hall in the earlier years.

Thank you to Lorie and Rick Rhodes, Vince Hoffman, The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, and the Williamson family for taking the time to share your stories as volunteers working over the years for the Williams Lake Stampede and your adventures at the various Barn Dance locations, and LET R BUCK Saloon.