ANNUAL EVENT - The Red Deer Royals kicked off the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

More than 13,000 people take in first day of Westerner Days

Officials say the annual event is off to a successful start

The 2017 Westerner Days Fair & Exposition started July 19th with over 13,500 people in attendance. People crowded the streets of downtown Red Deer to watch the Westerner Days parade and thousands of fans attended the Jess Moskaluke Main Stage show in the ENMAX Centrium with Nice Horse and Hey Romeo.

The parade, which is the annual event that kicks off Westerner Days, had 136 entries participate this year. The winner of the Grand Award was Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre with their princess themed float, complete with an enchanted forest and Cinderella carriage. They also took home the 1st place award for a Commercial Entry. For a complete list of winners, visit the Westerner Days web site under Community Events.

New this year, the 2017 Westerner Days Pony Steeplechase Championship Series saw the smallest horses with the biggest hearts take centre stage on the Race Track prior to the Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships. Fair-goers still have a chance to see these little animals in action; races are at 4:30 p.m. daily, except for Sunday when they show at 12:30 p.m.

Fair attendees can win Grub Hub cash by participating in the Openhwy ‘Come Together and Get Social’ contest. Fair-goers should use #WesternerDays and #TicketsAlberta to win daily prizes. If they are a winner, they will be notified day of and can pick up their prize at the Guest Services booth.

Speaking of the Grub Hub, over 25 food vendors are available on site. With everything from mini donuts to mac n’ cheese and elephant ears, there’s something sure to please the taste buds of everyone in attendance.

Tonight, the ENMAX Centrium main stage will be taken over by Chilliwack and Kim Mitchell. The show begins at 8 p.m., but fans can receive reserved floor seating tickets (free with gate admission) by going to the Tickets Alberta Box Office at 4 p.m.

For a full list of events and other fair information, visit westernerdays.ca.

– Fawcett