By Marcus Day
Even in the age of COVID-19, Maple Creek’s rodeo and western heritage will be visible this summer.
A “Rodeo Roundup” decorating contest is being organized, giving residents and businesses a chance to prove the cowboy and cowgirl spirit is alive and kicking. The challenge is for people to adorn the front of their properties — such as porches, lawns or business facades — with a heritage-themed display.
Their efforts will be assessed by Communities in Bloom judges, with winners receiving prizes.
The July 15-Aug. 15 contest is being sponsored by the Maple Creek Chamber of Commerce. A promotional poster will soon be created.
Last Friday, Tina Cresswell, Chamber president, said the community needed an uplifting event in the midst of a global pandemic.
“It will give the town a chance to celebrate rodeos and western heritage. We need some celebrating, and I think it is important to involve the community at large, not just businesses.
“Rodeos are a great acknowledgment of Maple Creek’s heritage and a wonderful family occasion.
“We need to keep that spirit alive in the best way we can.”
Cresswell drew parallels with the “hearts in windows” initiative at the outset of the coronavirus crisis. The idea had been for children to walk around their neighbourhood and see how many pink hearts they could spot at the front of houses and businesses.
“It created a community spirit, and we hope to do the same with the ‘Rodeo Roundup,’as it is being called,” she said.
Cresswell said details had not been finalized, but the plan was for decorations to be judged by district and prizes awarded.
“We are looking forward to decorated front porches and lawns — anything that can be seen from the road whether you are walking or driving around the community.”
Cresswell said she was a fan of scarecrows depicting rodeo figures.
“Hopefully, people will leave their displays up for the summer,” she added.
Gillian Moch, economic development officer (EDO), who came up with the idea, said traditionally a business decorating contest was held to coincide with the Heritage Festival. However, she believed this year the whole community should be involved.
Other communities like Leader had held similar events, she added.
Moch said anyone wishing to enter the contest should register before Aug. 10 with the Visitor Centre or The Daily Grind, both on Jasper Street.
•For updates on the contest, keep checking the newspapers, and the Town of Maple Creek and chamber of commerce Facebook pages.