Howdy, partner! If you’re looking for somewhere to “Cowboy Up”, Ponoka is the place to visit! This town may be home to the Ponoka Stampede and the World’s Largest Bucking Saddle Bronc Horse and Rider, but there are many other things to see and do here.
Ponoka, which means “elk” in Blackfoot, is located at the junction of Highway 2A and Highway 53, only 59 kilometres north of Red Deer.
If you’re planning on visiting Ponoka, check out some of these local attractions:
- – Opens on Victoria Day long weekend until the Labor Day weekend in September
- – Open Tuesday to Friday from 10 am until 5 pm and Sundays and Holiday Mondays from 1 pm until 5 pm
- – Located at the north end of Centennial Park
The Museums name comes from the original Fort Ostell that was built near Ponoka during the Riel Rebellion in 1885. The museum displays many local area pioneer and native artifacts and photos. It is also home to the “Alberta Mental Hospital Museum” collection (collection of artifacts and archived material from 1911 to present day).
- – Open from May to October
- – Runs Wednesdays from 9 am until 1 pm at the Ponoka Arena
This local farmers market hosts over 85 vendors showcasing agricultural produce, homemade and home-baked goods, food, and entertainment.
- – Runs the end of June / beginning of July to coincide with Canada Day weekend
- – 7-day rodeo plays host to rodeo competitors and fans from across Canada, the US and even Australia!
- – Features rodeo events, a midway, and other activities
The Ponoka Stampede is among the five largest rodeos worldwide for payouts. It has been award with many awards including, but not limited to, the 2012 PRCA Remuda Award (given to the rodeo with the best and most consistent pen of horses), the 2013 CPRA Stock Contractor of the Year, and many more!
Ponoka offers something for everyone, from history to family fun to recreational activities. Head out on Wolf Creek Trail for a day of nature, play a round of mini golf with the family, or check out one of the many local restaurants for a night out without the kids. Come see why people love this town!