Bikes and Bulls rodeo expanding to two-day event
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 11:28 am
The fourth edition of the Airdrie Bikes & Bulls charity event, an annual event hosted by the Airdrie Oilmen’s Association, is set to be the biggest yet.
For the last three years, the Bikes and Bulls has been a one-day event at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds but the edition is set for a two-day affair on Aug. 22 and 23.
“I think it’s a natural growth for our event,” Organizer and Airdrie Oilmen’s Association Founder Ian Cameron said. “People who have come out for the last three years have loved the event, but it’s been a little bit of a struggle to try and get more people from elsewhere to come out and be a part of it.”
“We’re starting to see more interest now from being involved in other organizations,” he added.
“The StopBully.com (an organization dedicated to stopping youth bullying) charity ride has teamed up with us this year, and they have almost 2,000 people who will be taking part in that all over Alberta on Aug. 24, so to have that expanded awareness of our event and be able to give back to our community is great.”
Last year’s Bikes & Bulls event was voted on by the Bull Riders of Canada as the top event of 2013, which convinced organizers to expand the event to two days.
“That was an accomplishment that we were really proud of,” Cameron said.
“That association goes across Canada and has over 20 events throughout the year, and to have them say that our event was the best one is pretty amazing.”
The 2013 edition of the Bikes and Bulls Charity Event raised $40,000 for local charities, with the funds being donated to Community Links, the Airdrie Food Bank, and the Airdrie & District Victims Assistance Society.
“We’ve been focused on having this event grow, and I believe that with an extra day for our event this year, we should hopefully be able to surpass that record fundraising total for the same three charities,” Cameron said.
The event will get started at 11 a.m. on Aug. 22 with a 311-kilometere motorcycle rally that starts and ends at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds, and will see riders stop in Wayne, Carbon and Didsbury.
Later that night, the bulls will take centre stage with a Bucking Bull Derby Calcutta getting underway at 7 p.m., and a corporate challenge bull riding event taking place at 8 p.m.
“The Calcutta is similar in a way to the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon races, where businesses bid to have their names on the chuckwagon tarps during the Stampede,” Cameron said. “We had an auction for sponsors to bid on being associated with the bulls earlier this spring, and this was something we wanted to not only help raise funds for Airdrie charities, but to also put some focus on the bulls themselves that help the riders get those high scores.”
“The corporate challenge is another new event we added this year, where we will have six guys who have ridden bulls in the past getting back in the saddle,” he added.
“These guys are all businessmen now and I think a lot of them think they are still young, so there’s a lot of interest to see what will happen.”
The second day of Bikes and Bulls, which will get underway at 8 a.m. with breakfast being served at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds on Aug. 23, will feature the bike rodeo event at 2:30 p.m. along with the pro bull riding competition at 5 p.m.
There will also be three freestyle motocross shows at 12:30, 4:30, and 8:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event, which are $50 for a weekend pass and $30 for a day pass, can be purchased in advance online at aoaalberta.com, or at the door on both days.