The 125th year of Westerner Days kicks off in Red Deer

This year marks a milestone for the Westerner Days Fair and Exposition which kicked off today in grand style with the annual parade. This is the 125th anniversary of the event in Red Deer.

The streets downtown were anticipated to be lined with Red Deerians this morning as they enjoyed the kick off to the fair. More than 30,000 people were expected to enjoy a parade including marching bands, clowns, decorated cars and more. Now, the midway at Westerner Park is in full swing and the sights and sounds of the fair can be heard from miles away.

It is always a great time of year and one that many locals look forward to. Westerner Days, which runs through to July 24th, is not only a chance to kick back and enjoy time with family and friends, but it’s also a chance for the community to celebrate and come together with a number of pancake breakfasts and chili cook-offs being held. Many businesses also partake in the festivities and decorate their offices with western-themed décor to help get in the spirit of the annual events.

The City really does transform back into the western era for the week of the fair and it’s certainly Central Alberta’s biggest summer celebration.

The Westerner Days Fair and Exposition has something to offer for every age whether it is the rides, the food, the concerts and other entertainment or even the pony chuckwagon races and agriculture shows. There will be plenty of action, fun and thrills to dive into during this year’s events.

Westerner Days has an entertainment line up for all ages this year and some of the acts include the Washboard Union and Chad Brownlee performing this evening (Wednesday) followed by DJ Spinderella and Salt n Pepa on July 21st; The Stampeders and Prism on July 22nd and USS and Moist are rounding things out on July 23rd.

All concerts start at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Because of the anniversary year, all concerts are free of charge with gate admission.

On the grounds spectators will also be able to see performances by Bandaloni, the Wobbly Water Balls, the Aussie Rules Dueling Pianos, the Petting Pals Petting Zoo, the Saputo Kids Corral, Safari Jeff, illusionist Murray Hatfield, Doo Doo the Clown and Little Rays.

As well, this marks the second year of the Morning of Faith celebration, which will take place on July 24th. A non-denominational service will begin the morning and guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable donation for the Red Deer and District Food Bank with them to the service. Parking fees will be in place, however, admission to the grounds is free for the service and participants are welcome to stay on site to enjoy the rest of the day at Westerner Park.

One of the most popular fixtures at Westerner Days is the pony chuckwagon races. Crowds of more than 4,000 people gather nightly to take in this exciting event while 56 drivers from western Canada and the United States compete over the five days all vying for the coveted North American championship buckle and trophy.

As for the rides, this year also looks to be an impressive year with attractions provided by North American Midway Entertainment. Plenty of rides will be featured, including thrill rides, family rides and kiddie rides.

So we encourage everyone to get out, have fun and enjoy all of what Westerner Days has to offer this year. The fair gets bigger and better each year and we have no doubt that this will be one of the best yet.

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