Smoke ‘n’ Spurs back in the saddle this summer

Rodeo and trucking festival finds a new home in Papineau-Cameron Township

From horses to horsepower, the Smoke ‘n’ Spurs festival revs it up, and this Labour Day weekend, the event rolls into its new home, in Papineau-Cameron Township, just outside of Mattawa.

Everything is wide open for us,” said Gary Anderson of the coming festival. Anderson and his wife, Jennifer, are excited to revive the festival previously held in Powassan. After six successful years, organizers decided to cancel the seventh year, and with Covid creating issues for live events, the festival did not return.

Until now. Plans have been steadily underway for the past year to make the return one to remember and kick off a long run of Smoke ‘n’ Spurs festivals. Events are planned from Friday to Sunday. Highlights include Rawhide Rodeo events, a Show and Shine, and a Truck and Tractor Pull.

And we’re not talking about normal trucks here,” Anderson clarified. “We’re talking 2,000 horsepower trucks.” He knows all about diesel power, as he races rigs in his downtime with his own race team. He’s well-connected to the trucking world – he owns Anderson Trucking – and a lot of his friends are coming to make sure Smoke ‘n’ Spurs has more than enough chrome to captivate eventgoers.

Plus, there will be music. “The bands alone are worth the ticket price,” Anderson said. The dominant genre is, obviously, country and Dan Davidson, Jo Jo Mason, and Dry County have already joined the weekend roster. There’s room for more, and Anderson expects he’ll be announcing another three bands before the big day.

It’s a full family event” overall, Anderson emphasized. There will be fun for the kids, and the event grounds have plenty of room to park your RV or trailer, or to pitch your tent.

For more information, check in on the event’s website. Tickets are on sale now, and day passes range from $20 to $75 — depending on age and day – with adult weekend passes going for $100. The event is also looking for more vendors, and if you’re interested in sponsoring the festival, reach out to

The festival takes place at 60 Neault Rd., Papineau-Cameron Township, (Mattawa).

By David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter