MEDICINE HAT, AB — The rides are gone, the rodeo is over, and the Stampede Grounds are now empty, marking the conclusion of the 131st Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede.
The four day celebration took over the grounds providing residents and guests an opportunity to see a variety of events.
Jim MacArthur, general manager of the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede, says it helped that the weather cooperated again for the event.
“We do have to credit Mother Nature for some pretty fine weather, and that helps an awful lot obviously, with an outdoor event. It means a lot to have good weather,” said MacArthur. “So, that gave all of our volunteers and staff the platform they needed to put on a great show and I think we did.”
Official attendance numbers aren’t counted yet, but MacArthur believes there was an increase from last year.
He said Friday was a big day for them, starting off with Kiddie Day, and then the late rodeo that led into the fireworks.
“I really do think we had an outstanding rodeo and I was really impressed with the calibre of stock, and cowboys on Friday, and some of that is just you know the random chance. We think that overall everyday is a good rodeo, but that one seemed to be exceptional,” said MacArthur.
Along with the rodeo, and all of the rides, there’s a number of vendors that share the grounds.
MacArthur says it’s important to build a strong reputation based off of two factors; the number of vendors, and their quality.
“I think that both have improved over the last few years. Again maybe that’s a reputation thing, I think if you can get the people here and they have more success then it just builds on itself,” said MacArthur.
He says there’s a lot of moving parts to make the event a success. His staff, and over 600 volunteers, are the ones who make this celebration what it is.
"Obviously it takes a lot of personnel to conduct these things, and so by having all the volunteers here to help us with that it's really their show they've done a great job," said MacArthur
Plans for the 2019 event are already underway as they’re looking for entertainment for next year.
MacArthur’s lips are sealed right now for next year's plans, but he said it’s important to make sure everyone is included.
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