By Carlie Sanderson
For Ponoka News
Olympic Speedskater Maddison Pearman will be sitting atop the stagecoach this year as the Ponoka Stampede’s parade marshal.
“I was super excited,” Pearman said about being asked to be this year’s marshal. It’s not the first time a speedskater was part of the parade. In 2018 Canadian Speed Skater Catriona Le May Doan was the parade marshal. While she was the marshal, Pearman and her sister were in the parade.
“I said, ‘If I go to the Olympics in 2022 that’s going to be me one day,’” she said about being the marshal after watching Le May Doan.
She said it “was kind of a joke at the time, but after coming back from the Olympics and seeing the support of the town and everything, I was super grateful.”
Pearman was approached at the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce’s trade show in April by a few different people and was officially asked by Ponoka Stampede Association President Jason Cline.
Cline said every year as a board they make a list of people who have represented the community or the province in some way.
With Pearman having being from Ponoka and participating in the Olympics, Cline said, “It’s something you want to celebrate.”
Pearman has attended the Stampede every year and says she enjoys seeing friends and watching the concerts and performances.
Tess Pearman also has a stint in the Stampede this year as one of the flag girls, who will ride in with the sponsors in the arena.
This year’s parade will take place June 30, and in anticipating of Canada Day the following day, the theme will be a salute to Canada’s birthday.
Some of this year’s participants so far include Altitude Spa, Sampson Community Wellness and The LCI Gold Jazz Band. The deadline for registration is June 24.
Something new this year is that all floats must be decorated before entering the arena parking lot. Participants can get their floats ready west of the hockey arena or at VJV auction market. No drop offs or extra vehicles will be allowed in the arena parking lot that day. People will be asked to park at the St. Augustine School or the Aquaplex and walk over to the arena to get on the floats.
There will be 15 parade categories including heavy horse hitch, light horse hitch, 4H, decorated vehicle, best marching band and more.
The three-mile long route will take place beginning at 10 a.m. at the arena. It will then move onto the high school, heading left at the treasury branch and then north, finishing back at the arena.