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Wayne Vold is the 2024 Ponoka Stampede parade marshal

This year’s theme is ’A Salute to Stock Contractors’

Excitement is building for one of the Ponoka Stampede’s signature events — the Ponoka Stampede Parade — which runs June 28, beginning 10 a.m. 

Upwards of 10,000 people pack the streets to take in the colourful floats, mascots, classic cars, marching bands, clowns and much more. 

This year’s theme is ‘A Salute to Stock Contractors,’ which is close to the heart of this year’s parade marshal, Wayne Vold. 

The long-time stock producer has participated in the parade several times, but 2024 marks his first time as marshal. 

READ MORE: Temporary road closures planned for Ponoka Stampede Parade on June 28

He’s proud and excited to have landed the honour in an event that has grown to become a key feature in a packed week of festivities. 

“I’ve ridden in the parade a lot — I started out in it with my Dad leading me on a horse when I was two,” he said.
Vold was contacted about being this year’s parade marshal by Rick Wierzba, Ponoka Stampede Association president. 

“It’s an honour,” Vold said, adding that he’s very pleased with this year’s theme as well. 

“We’ve got the best stock contractors available in Canada, and they’ve been coming here for a lot of years — some a little longer than others,” he said. 

“They bring the best stock that they’ve got which in turn makes the Ponoka Stampede one of the very best rodeos in the rodeo world. Prize money-wise, it’s among the top half a dozen, too. 

“It’s in the top echelon of anywhere in the world. So the committee wants to have the best stock that there is. We also draw the best cowboys that we can get, therefore we want the best stock that we can get.” 

For Vold, the Ponoka Stampede is a family tradition, and he’s proud of its impact across the community and beyond, he said. 

“We’ve been a part of the Ponoka Stampede all of my life, and I’m very proud of it.” 

He noted that much of the event’s tremendous success stems from the team of volunteers that lend a hand on so many fronts. 

“The volunteers in Ponoka are spectacular — you just can’t put on a rodeo without them,” he said. 

“Everyone who volunteers — their heart and soul is in it. I salute them.” 

Meanwhile, the parade’s director Greg Gordon said this year’s theme is truly fitting. 

“It’s the best stock in the world,” he said, adding that it’s quite the process to prepare the animals for Ponoka Stampede action. 

As to the parade itself, Gordon said folks come from all around to participate in it let alone watch it. 

“We have roughly 12,000 people come to town that day — it’s jam-packed!” 

There are also plenty of highlights to this year’s event, including seven marching bands, lots of local floats, plus a wide range of community organizations and businesses represented. 

Ultimately, Gordon said one of the best things about his role is how he gets to interact with people through the process of putting it all together — which is also a collaborative effort. 

“People are so happy and they want to have some fun.” 

He also said the Man Van, which provides prostate cancer screening, is going to be in the parade, as well as a feature at the trade fair. 

Anyone interested in taking part in the Ponoka Stampede Parade can call Gordon at 403-704-3541 or visit the Ponoka Stampede website to register online.

READ MORE: Ponoka Stampede: Fun for the whole family on Kids Day

Ponoka News is your source for all things Ponoka Stampede leading up to and during Stampede Week June 25 to July 1. Find more Ponoka Stampede stories here.


Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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