Another round of Westerner Days has come and gone, and what’s the feeling about this year’s slate of events?
Let’s start with the parade. A few years back we were critical of the parade because it seemed more like a car show with a host of politicians in sparsely decorated vehicles, local businesses in equally bland floats (or something like that) and some were even strolling along, sign in hand, trying to showcase their cause, organization or business. There was also one or two bands at most. Creativity was scarce.
But this year, things had vastly improved. There were several superb bands, many well-decorated floats and just more variety to entertain the crowds overall.
It was a good way to kick off Westerner Days, and really set the tone for events to come. It also seemed that participants really took the time and care to prepare for the parade this year, and the crowd was more enthusiastic than ever.
For Westerner Days, there was a bit of ‘been there, done that’ throughout the event, particularly the midway which never really seems to change very much. It’s almost like things are set up pretty much like they were the year before.
Not that the crowds seemed to mind – particularly on those hot, summery irresistible days when being at the fair – or any fair for that matter – seemed the natural thing to do.
The 19th Street Market is something the fair could do without. It seems like a cheap trade show – really out of place with vibe of the grounds.
On the brighter side, one of the highlights and a definite crowdpleaser was the Super Dogs Show which attracted big crowds and generated lots of excitement. Safari Jeff was also a great addition – he is an excellent presenter and kept the audience entertainment and informed about a variety of reptiles.
The pony chuckwagon races are always a huge hit with hundreds packing the stands nightly. As the old saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ A kind timeless event, and something young and old can enjoy, they will always be a fair staple for years to come.
There were also promising new highlights such as the Artistic Expression venue which featured both performing and visual arts. It offered a bit of reprieve from the heat and activity of outside, and was an interesting mix of talents. There was also a stage set up for local artists to perform.
Also of note – fireworks proved a popular and well-done addition to Westerner Days as well with many in attendance saying they were even better than those on Canada Day.
Even though attendance dipped, people still love the fair. The Westerner puts on a great event and it’s a welcome addition to the list of summer activities we all enjoy.