BIG RACE – Emily Holmes races ahead of Matt Bailey on one of the big slides during Westerner Days.

Records hit for attendance during Westerner Days

  • Jul. 22, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Two attendance records were broken during this year’s Westerner Days which took place in Red Deer this past week.

On Saturday a new attendance record was set as 27,752 people took in the sights and sounds of the annual event. The previous record was set in 2011 with 26,825 people attending Westerner Days.

As well, on Sunday, a second attendance record was set. On the last day of Westerner Days, 22,478 attended the Grounds.

Over the course of the five-day event, 99,614 people attended Westerner Days. An overall attendance record of 102,665 people was set in 2012.

“Overall we had an amazing turn out for Westerner Days. It’s something that the community really rallies behind and takes the opportunity to come out and celebrate and enjoy themselves. It is really nice to see,” said Meghan Gustum, marketing manager for Westerner Park.

She added the event included 10 free concerts over five days which was well received by fair-goers.

“It was really well received. The attendance for the concerts every night was strong,” said Gustum. “We try and make as much free as possible once you pay your admission. We want people to be able to take in as much as they can.”

As well, a new event this year, The Morning of Faith, which was held on Sunday, saw thousands coming to the Grounds to enjoy a non-denominational service.

“We had 2,500 people out for the service in the morning. It was just such a positive show of community support and all of the churches coming together.”

Meanwhile, as for the pony chucks, the races didn’t run Thursday and Friday night due to do the condition of the track after Red Deer saw heavy rainfall. The first night of the races on Wednesday was also cut short as during intermission after a storm rolled through causing the conditions of the track to deteriorate.

“This year was a tough year for the pony chucks and it was definitely an anomaly for us – we can’t remember in history when we’ve had to do that (cancel the event for multiple days),” said Gustum. “It’s the safety of the animals and the drivers that is the priority and it was a tough decision but we had to make that call.”

The pony chucks were able to run Saturday and Sunday with Marvin Hubl winning the Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championship. Neil Salmond came in second place. Salmond also won the $2,500 Dash for Cash.

In addition, Westerner Park officials are already gearing up for next year’s events – the 125th anniversary of both Westerner Park and Westerner Days.

“We’ve already started planning for our big anniversary. It’s a huge milestone for us.”

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Tools for Schools program in need of school supplies for students

Supplies will be donated to students across Central Alberta

Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation hosting a drive-in movie fundraiser

Excitement building as the big event draws closer

Expansions rolling ahead at Red Deer Hospice

Six new rooms will provide care to 100 additional residents each year

Red Deer RCMP warn public about online job scams

Red Deer man applied for a construction job and was asked a fee to process his application

Central Alberta Buccaneers come up short against Monarchs

Bucs’ lose star quarterback in heartbreaking affair

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Wetaskiwin Co-op robbed of laser tool, propane torch

Wetaskiwin RCMP attempting to identify two individuals involved in numerous thefts

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

Lacombe Council passes second reading of cannabis bylaw

Public hearing sees opposition to bylaw; third reading coming Sept. 10th

UPDATED: Cars plunge in Italian highway bridge collapse; 25 killed

Five more people are injured and in serious condition

Most Read