Celebrate Westerner Days

Westerner Days is here again, off to a roaring start after this morning’s parade.

It’s that time of year when thousands head to Westerner Park to take in the sights and sounds of Red Deer’s annual fair, and there is certainly plenty to enjoy this year.

Organizers are also hoping for bigger and better things starting with overall attendance. Last year, 92,000 people walked through the gates. This year officials are hoping to break the 100,000 mark.

This year’s rendition of Westerner Days also promises to top past fairs particularly on the entertainment side. Never before has there been as much live musical shows set to hit various stages throughout the course of the fair.

The Molson Canadian Ranch and the ACMA Showcase Overview will be centre stage for several emerging and established singers and bands to showcase their talents. These new features are offering fairgoers plenty of opportunities to hear all kinds of music beyond what has mostly been the case – major artists performing on the Centrium stage each night.

Of course, the traditional features will all be up and running as well from the midway to the popular evening pony chuck wagon races to the 19th St. Market.

It looks promising, and we are hoping things pop with all kinds of new features and things to do. However, Westerner Days has been known in past year to follow the old expression ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ perhaps a bit too far.

Sometimes it seems like a touch of déjà vu sets in as one strolls down the midways and throughout the grounds. Not that a sense of ‘been there, done that’, particularly on those hot, summery irresistible days when being at the fair – or any fair for that matter – seems the natural thing to do.

But last year, for example, there was little that jumped out.

There were new features but one couldn’t perhaps overcome that feeling that it could be better; more innovative and more exciting.

But perhaps when it comes to staging these kinds of events, keeping a semblance of familiarity is the name of the game.

Let’s hope that isn’t so much the case this year.

It’s encouraging to see the remarkable broadening of musical choices this year, for one thing. Some of the midway entertainment highlights are also looking lively and worth checking out for sure.

There is no reason why organizers shouldn’t be able to soar past the 100,000 mark. Central Alberta is a growing hub of activity that draws thousands of people to all kinds of events year-long. Westerner Days is certainly no exception.