FLIPPING AMAZING - Red Deer City Council helped serve up pancakes for over 6,000 Central Albertans at the 36th annual Bower Place Pancake Breakfast.Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

FLIPPING AMAZING - Red Deer City Council helped serve up pancakes for over 6,000 Central Albertans at the 36th annual Bower Place Pancake Breakfast. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

Westerner Days opens today

Lots to see and do for the whole family

Central Alberta’s largest summer celebration, Westerner Days, kicks off July 18th. This year it’s all about the western lifestyle, with the theme being Buckle-Up, Let’s Go!

“It is relying on the fact that we are an agricultural society and Westerner Park’s roots are definitely firm and deep in being an agricultural society,” said Westerner Park CEO Ben Antifaiff.

Having won the bid to hold the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer come the end of October, Antifaiff said it was only appropriate to create a western theme at the fair this year.

There are also happens to be lots of new and exciting features to this year’s fair, one of those being the Peavey Mart Discovery Barn.

“It’s an opportunity for all folks to enjoy and have an opportunity to learn about our agricultural roots through some interactions with displays, some educational programming and of course farm animals and the petting zoo,” said Antifaiff.

There will be 40 rides at the Midway this year, with the addition of the Expo Wheel.

Antifaiff said they have brought a whole new vision to the kids programming aspect as well, with lots of work done in the Family Fun Zone. The Funhaus Inflatables will also be moved into the Harvest Gardens.

This year, Antifaiff said they are excited about creating arts in the market, which will be part of the 19th Street Market, focusing on unique artists from around Central Alberta.

“It’s an important part of the work that we’re doing at the Park to increase our arts and culture programming and we’ve taken that one step further this year as well.”

Antifaiff said this year they are excited to have the most entertainment and programming they’ve ever had at Westerner Days on the Main Stage in the Centrium.

As guests are navigating the grounds, they will see some new entertaining acts including Cirque Zuma Zuma show, which will be held at the ampitheatre.

“We had great response to Cirque Crystal earlier in the year so we think that this one is going to be a big hit. We’ve got The Street Drum Corp, which will do some roving acts and the Global FMX Show.”

For Antifaiff, who spends lots of time out and about at the fair chatting with people, it’s about, “Providing that safe family environment where I see a lot of folks smiling and having fun. It really comes down to that. No matter what aspect of the fair, we want our guests to totally be able to relax and enjoy themselves and find something that they really like.”