Alberta’s first cowboys were early farmers and homesteaders. Perhaps enthralled by the dust, noise and danger of bull riding, bareback riding and cattle roping, these early wranglers organized Canada’s first official rodeo in 1903 in Raymond, Alberta.
Early in St. Paul’s history, the rodeo was an important community event, drawing the community together with a wide range of events and celebrations. Modern St. Paul rodeo goers are treated to the Lakeland Rodeo Association (LRA) Finals, supported by the St. Paul Agricultural Society. Each year, the top 10 cowboys compete in five performances over the week-long event. Beginning a week before the last Sunday in August, the event includes activities designed to draw in the cowboy crowd, including an agricultural trade show, arm wrestling and horseshoe competitions, a heavy horse pull and horse show. Tourists and residents are invited to enjoy live entertainment and a community-based rodeo parade. There are prizes for the best decorated store windows in a western theme and local organizations and businesses take part by building floats. 2003 marks the 25th anniversary of the LRA’s involvement in the St. Paul Rodeo.