The gates for Westerner Days opened today and thousands of Central Albertans were expected to take in the sights and sounds down at the grounds.
A parade kicked off the event this morning and the midway officially opened today at noon.
Westerner Days runs through to Sunday at Westerner Park.
Officials were out yesterday morning patrolling the QE II Hwy. in hopes of finding an honourary family via Arrest A Guest. An RCMP member and Westerner officials look for a vehicle with out of province plates and pull them over to ‘arrest’ them as the Westerner’s guest family. The family will receive overnight accommodations, get the chance to ride in the parade as well as get passes for Westerner Days, among other prizes.
A family had not been chosen at the time of press yesterday afternoon.
This year’s theme for Westerner Days is ‘This is My Westerner Days’. Attendees of the fair will be asked to share their Westerner Days experiences by posting their pictures online and using the hashtag #westernerdays and #mywesternerdays.
“To different people, Westerner Days means a lot of different things,” said Erin Gobolos, marketing manager for Westerner Park. “For the young family, Westerner Days may be about kiddie rides, the petting zoo, the family fun zone and ice cream; for the teenager crowd it may be about thrill rides, concerts, connecting with friends and sampling every food we have; and for the adult couple, Westerner Days may be about a date night at the pony chuckwagon races, the beer gardens or lounge and concerts.
“We have so much to see and do at Westerner Days. We want people to make it their own.”
A number of shows will run throughout each day of the fair including Spandy Andy, Bandaloni, Super Dogs Disco Dogs, Doo Doo the Clown, the Copper Cowboy, Dale K the hypnotist and the Freddy Fusion Science Magic Show and Dave Sharp who is a speed painter, among others.
Entertainment on the mainstage where a number of musical guests are set to perform include Brett Kissel and Tim Hicks on July 16th, Diamond Rio on July 17th, Harlequin and Honeymoon Suite on July 18th and The Sheepdogs on July 19th. In the Molson Canadian Ranch each day KnowleDJ, a DJ from Las Vegas will perform as well the Aussie Rules Dueling Pianos. Randi Boulton will also perform in the lounge on July 18th – 19th as well.
All of the concerts are free with gate admission.
A number of rides for kids, youth and adults will be found on the midway, with two new rides being added to the line up this year. And the popular pony chuckwagons also take place nightly at 6 p.m. with the finals getting started at 2 p.m. on July 20th.
Admission prices are $6 for seniors, $12 for adults, $10 for youth aged 13-17 and children five years and under get in free. Parking is $7.
Kid’s Day will take place July 17th where children 12 and under get free gated entry until 6 p.m. and Family Day on July 21st where a carload of up to six people will get into Westerner Days for $25, including parking. Kids aged 10 and under can ride all day for $12.