Edmonton First Responders Rodeo Raises Money for Local Charities

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The third annual Edmonton First Responder Rodeo (EFRR), where all amateur participants are first responders, many of whom are novices, will be held at the St. Albert Kinsmen Rodeo Grounds on July 16.

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After taking a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, rodeo is back, full of public-watching events with participation from individuals and teams.

« We have amateur events like parachute dogging and steer wrestling, » said Justin Nunes, director of communications for EFRR.

“We also have team events, and the two biggest team events are Wild Cow Milking, which is absolutely hilarious, and Wild Horse Racing, which is a little more dangerous than it looks” , said Nunes.

This isn’t Nunes’ first rodeo. As a full-time paramedic in Edmonton, he signed up for the rodeo in 2019 and admits he had no idea what he was doing. His workouts fell apart and when he showed up the day of the rodeo he asked, « How can I do this? » ”

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« And they just told me from YouTube, » Nunes said with a laugh, « Needless to say it didn’t go so well. I was dragged by a horse and I was taken down by an ox , but since then I’ve had a bit of practice.

Each participant pays a $30 entry fee to later compete in the rodeo and barn dance, and event winners receive personalized bows. All funds raised go directly to two charities: Zebra Child Protection Centre, which works closely with the Edmonton Police Service and provides support for children who have been abused; and Legacy Place Society, which provides support and family assistance to first responders and military personnel.

Not everything is rodeo. There are events for children like face painting, clowns and a very large petting zoo. Edmonton Police, Alberta Health Services and Edmonton Fire and Rescue Services will also have features there. Additionally, there will be six food trucks.

« We try to keep everything as family friendly and affordable as possible, » Nunes said.

The last rodeo was in 2019, when they raised $22,000 for the two charities.

“It’s good. I got involved because I had such a good time and it was such a good event to watch, even after the competition,” Nunes said.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and after the rodeo there is a barn dance that starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the public. For more information, visit firstwatchrodeo.ca.


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