Oldstoberfest back after year-long hiatus

If you like craft beer and rodeo (and, let’s be honest here, who doesn’t?) then you’re not going to want to miss Oldstoberfest.

The world’s first Bavarian rodeo is making its return to the Canadian Pro Rodeo circuit after a year-long hiatus.

“We’re super excited,” said Gillian Grant, the Rodeo Coordinator for C5 Rodeo Company and one of the original organizers of the event.

Oldstoberfest, which runs this year on Sept. 15 and 16, features an Octoberfest theme and is centred around every cowboy’s favourite post-rodeo beverage.

“One of the things we’re going to be celebrating is beer. We’re serving craft beer from Troubled Monk and the Olds College Brewery,” Grant said.

The beer gardens, which will be taking place at the Olds Cow Palace, will be all done up like a Bavarian beer hall and will feature some top-notch musical acts, including Drew Gregory, the Chris Buck Band and headliner Tim Hicks.

On the rodeo side of things, some of the top contract acts and staff will make appearances at the annual shindig including former NFR barrel man Robbie Hodges, announcer Brett Gardiner and the Young Guns trick riding.

And of course, all of the flag girls will be dressed in Dirndl in keeping with the Octoberfest theme.

Each performance starts with the tapping of a fresh keg of beer and the winning cowboys and cowgirls will receive championship steins instead of buckles.

“The food that’s going to be served is of course compliments of the Octoberfest tradition, so Bavarian food is something that’s going to be highlighted and served by the Olds Regional Exhibition,” Grant said, adding that the local German bakery will also be at the grounds to offer their various traditional pastries and treats.

Grant said the idea to theme the rodeo after the world’s most famous beer festival came from the fact that Olds College is home to the only brew master program in Western Canada.

“(The committee) said to me that they don’t want this to take away from the rodeo so, (my husband) Morgan actually suggested ‘you should do an Octoberfest thing.’ So, we ran with it in 2015, it was a huge success and it was something that we didn’t want to see go away.”

So, this year C5 Rodeo has partnered with Olds College, Pomeroy Inn and Suites and the Olds Regional Exhibition to bring the rodeo back.

“It’s one of those events that allows new fans to be introduced to rodeo who are maybe coming for that Octoberfest part of it, or the headliners from the concerts.

“It allows new and continuing rodeo fans to experience rodeo in just a little bit of a unique way,” said Grant, who was named CPRA Committee Person of the Year for the 2015 event.

And as one of the events on the CFR home stretch, fans coming to Oldstoberfest are sure to see some great rodeo action as some of the best competitors on the circuit match up against the best stock that C5 Rodeo has to offer.

Oldstoberfest runs on Sept. 15 and 16 with rodeo performances beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at oldstoberfest.com or in person at the Pomeroy Inn and Suites in Olds.

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