Old favourites and new highlights at this year’s Westerner Days

  • Jun. 6, 2012 3:06 p.m.

There will be plenty of action, fun and thrills to dive into during this year’s Westerner Days Fair and Exposition, set to run in Red Deer July 18-22.

Central Alberta’s biggest summer celebration features loads of live entertainment, exciting midway rides, popular agricultural shows and of course the nightly pony chuckwagon races.

As to main live music performances, hitting the Centrium stage this year are Hedley — hot off the tracks of their fourth CD Storms. They perform July 18. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.ca or at the Centrium box office.

Country music veterans Sawyer Brown perform July 19, and this is a free concert with gate admission. Scottish rockers Nazareth, who recently released their 22nd disc Big Dogz, perform July 20.

Wrapping up the mainstage shows will be country star Terri Clark, performing July 21. As with Sawyer Brown and Nazareth, these shows are free with gate admission.

Other highlights of this year’s Westerner Days include the 19th Street Market which offers more than 100 worldwide exhibitors a place to showcase their products and services to everyone at Westerner Days. It will be located directly off of the Midway Boulevard in the Prairie Pavilion.

Also, check out the RCMP Police Dog Service on the Midway Stage daily at 3:30 p.m.

Bowmanville Zoo X-Treme Wild Show also runs daily at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. on the Midway Boulevard.

Another featured artist this year will be Spandy Andy. Born and raised in Red Deer, Spandy Andy was named Canada’s Freshest Dancer and awarded $10,000 in 2009; featured on So You Think You Can Dance Canada and Wipeout Canada. He’ll be performing daily on the Midway Boulevard at 3:30, 6:30 and 9 p.m.

For music fans, the Association of Country Music in Alberta (ACMA) and Westerner Park have partnered together to provide some of Alberta’s aspiring country musicians with the opportunity to play at this year’s Westerner Days Fair & Exposition. Country musicians will be given the opportunity to showcase their music on the Midway Stage over the five-day event at 7 p.m.

This year also looks to be an impressive year with two new rides provided by North American Midway Entertainment. A total of 42 rides will be featured, including 16 thrill rides, 15 family rides and 11 kiddie rides.

Another popular fixture at Westerner Days is the pony chuckwagons. Crowds of over 4,000 people gather nightly to take in this exciting event while 56 drivers from western Canada and the U.S. compete over the five days all vying for the coveted North American championship buckle and trophy.

It runs nightly at 6 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday at the racetrack.

Off-site, there will also be the daily pancake breakfasts that run during the course of Westerner Days. Kicking things off is the first breakfast in the southwest parking lot of Bower Place on July 14 from 8 to 11 a.m.

On July 17, the breakfast runs from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at Mooney Insurance and on July 18 it will be held at Regional Mortgage Corporation. On July 18-21, the breakfast will be hosted at London Drugs from 8 to 11 a.m. and on July 22 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Proceeds from each breakfast support various causes and charities in the City.

Another fixture is of course the parade which is set for July 18 at 9:30 a.m.

More than 30,000 people will line the streets to enjoy the marching bands, dignitaries, floats, collector vehicles and livestock entries as they make their way through the heart of downtown Red Deer.

Admission prices for the Westerner Days Fair and Exposition are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, $8 for youth (13-17), $4 for children (six to 12) and there is no charge for kids five and under.

For complete details of everything that will be a part of this year’s event, visit www.westernerdays.ca or call 403-343-7800.