Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair: Kathy Sheppard

Kathy Sheppard’s Lens on The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair​

Surrey Through My Lens” proudly shares authentic photo essays that showcase what it is really like to live in and visit our community from a range of perspectives. Kathy Sheppard is the board chair of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you lived in Surrey? ​

“I have lived in Cloverdale most of my life. My great-grandparents lived in Cloverdale where they owned a business and my grandparents moved here to raise their family. My parents raised my brother and I in Cloverdale, and now both of us are raising our own families in Cloverdale. There is truly “no place like home!”

From the Discover Surrey Team:

Learn More about the vibrant “small-town” that is Cloverdale! Check out the Cloverdale Neighbourhood Page to start your journey. And might we recommend:

What does The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair look like through your lens? ​

“The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is FUN! It’s family, traditions, old friends, new experiences, memories and pride – pride in our Association and what we give back to the community and the City to celebrate our western and farming heritage. A family-oriented and fun-filled weekend with something for everyone at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.”

From the Discover Surrey Team:

A raucous bed race kicks off the celebrations on the Thursday before the long weekend. Then there’s the parade on the Saturday, not quite as quirky, but just as fun. Plus, there are many more events, including: 

What does it feel like to attend The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair?​

“You can feel the energy, even before you enter the gates at the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair! The Cloverdale Fairgrounds are all dressed up! It’s home to the world-famous Cloverdale Rodeo in the Stetson Bowl, and the entire fairgrounds captivate you with flags, signs and smiling volunteers.

The excitement is tangible as you walk through the gates into the grounds, complete with attractions such as the Farm Friendz, the Midway, a variety of exhibitors, entertainment and, of course, mouth-watering food choices!”

From the Discover Surrey Team:

Check out Discover Surrey’s page about the event or visit the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair’s website for more information about the event. There is so much to see and do! 

How does the shared experience at the event help to build Surrey’s community mosaic?​

“The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association puts on the event. The association was established in 1888 as the Lower Fraser Valley Agricultural Association. It is a community-based tradition, representing the City’s country/western heritage and showcasing agriculture, families and diversity.

The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair is a part of Surrey’s community mosaic because it shares the history and traditions of the association and community with new residents of Surrey and can help them to develop a great sense of civic pride.
We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the rodeo this year and the agricultural fair, dances, parade and bedraces are over 130 yrs old!
New residents to Surrey learn about all of these traditions and create their own memories at the event. Our aim is that every attendee has a great time and shares their experiences with others. This shared experience strengthens community pride and connection.”

What is something people may not know about The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair?​

“There are so many fun facts about the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.

  • The Fair was first established in 1888, by one of the oldest associations in BC.
  • The association is a volunteer-run organization and we rely on over 300 volunteers to put on the event for the community.
  • The Rodeo, which was started just after the Second World War, is now an international Invitation Rodeo with four events – Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding and Ladies’ Barrel Racing.
  • The whole community gets involved in the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair. The Cloverdale Business Improvement Association hosts the annual parade and the Bedraces. Store merchants decorate their storefronts and dress up in western attire, and the local Legion hosts pancake breakfasts and a steak dinner.
  • The City of Surrey further celebrates the event by proclaiming “Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair Week.”

Lastly, what inspires you to share Your Surrey through the experiences you help bring to life?​

“With the declining number of pioneer families left in our city, I feel it is very important to share the roots and history of this association with those who may be new to the area. As previously mentioned, the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association is a volunteer-based organization, and I would love to see more people get involved and help keep the history alive within our community.”

Building Community

The Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association is a proud supporter and key driver of agricultural development in the Fraser Valley. One big way in which the association gives back is through the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation Scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded based on participation in the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair, community involvement, and demonstration of leadership.

Learn more about the scholarship program and opportunities to join the Association’s Youth Advisory Board here.

Check out the Other Lenses on Surrey​

Check out the other lenses on Surrey’s six neighbourhoods – new features are released regularly. Click the link below to learn more about the project and find the galleries for the other neighbourhoods.