Organizer Michelle Laboucane says preparations are going well.
“Fast and furious; it’s quite amazing,” she says, “The stands are up and getting into place, the ring – the actual arena part – is getting built, the stables are ready to go, all the feed is being brought in. It’s amazing!”
The officers and their horses will be arriving earlier in the week for a number of appearances, and the stables will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, for the public to meet the performers.
The Musical Ride was last in Fort St. John in 1993, and also took place in 1981 and 1977. First developed in 1876, RCMP use the event as a tool to share information about and support community policing efforts, as well as contribute to local non-profit organizations.
Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the North Peace Justice Society and the Fort St. John Rotary Club, in return for their planning of the event. So far around 1,500 have been sold, with capacity for 2,700 at each show. Tickets are available through the North Peace Cultural Centre online or by calling 250-785-1992, as well as at the gate.
Laboucane, the Coordinator for the North Peace Justice Society, says the response from the public to the Musical Ride has been overwhelming.
“People remember back in ’93 when it was here, and they remember how it was at the older rodeo grounds,” she says. “The Musical Ride is one of those things that you don’t get to see very often… It’s something that you only get to see once every five years, if that, and when you know somebody in the ride, it makes it even that much more special.”
The musical ride is particularly special for the region this year, as not only is there a local officer performing as part of the ride, Inspector Pat Egan also took part in the 1980′s, and a current officer will be joining next year. Constable Brett Cunningham joined the Musical Ride last year after serving at the FortSt. John detachment since 2008, and Constable Kyle Kifferling will be joining him this summer to train for next year’s ride.
The day after the ride a regimental dinner will be held as a fundraiser for Cops for Cancer. The charity ball will be held at the Pomeroy Hotel, including a dinner, entertainment by a comedian, and a dance. Tickets cost $75 and can be purchased at the Fort St. John Visitor Information Centre, Patch Java or the Fort St. John RCMP detachment by July 8.