Prepare to explode!

By Herald on July 16, 2021.

Riders on the Yoyo swings walk past other rides and lights halfway through a previous Whoop-Up Days at the fairgrounds. Herald archive photo by Ian Martens

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald

Whoop-Up Days are back!

After COVID took the fun of last summer with the cancellation of the regular Whoop-Up Days lineup, the annual Lethbridge Fair returns to the fairgrounds in September.

Mike Warkentin, President and CEO of Lethbridge & District Exhibition, said Friday’s Whoop-Up Days will be held September 2-5 at the exhibition site.

Due to the financial impact of COVID on people, entry to the fair will be free, he told media.

Due to the construction of the agri-food hub and shopping center, parking will be limited and Warkentin urges those attending the fair to use public transport. Parking is also free this year.

A notable absence this year will be a parade. Warkentin said that due to the logistics and resources required to put on a successful parade, the organizers decided to leave it out of the program.

The last day of Whoop-Up Days will coincide with the start of the fall competition at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club.

“As a special feature of this year’s event, to celebrate the extension of our lease together and our partnership, the Rocky Mountain Turf Club will kick off its fall meet with a day of racing on Sunday, September 5th to end the weekend. ,” he said.

With the students back to school, the fun will start at 4 p.m. on September 2 and continue until 11 p.m., he said.

On September 3 and 4, the fair will be open at noon and close at midnight.

No rodeos will be part of the fair as other rodeos compete elsewhere on Labor Day weekend, Warkentin said.

The fair will feature a small mid-size run by Wild Rose Shows as well as daily entertainment and a beer garden in Heritage Hall. The midway will still offer popular rides, Warkentin said, but they will be spaced out.

The fair will also have food trucks on site, in addition to the usual mid-way fare provided by Wild Rose Shows.

“It will have the same sights, sounds and smells as it did halfway,” he said.

The date change was made to take into account the mid-point, he added.

“We knew as we got closer to this reopening that the city wanted this level of celebration. Obviously there were some successes this week in Calgary and we wanted to make sure we could have the same level of celebration in this community. What peaks better in summer than a middle in southern Alberta?

“So it was an important element that we wanted to include this year. There have been a few challenges with the industry midway through this year, which allows for an adjustment midway through. “

West Coast Amusements operates in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, he said, but due to the short turnaround time and the fact that British Columbia is subject to a different level of restriction than the ‘Alberta, “they weren’t able to run their full lineup this year,” he added. .

“Due to some time issues and construction limitations at the site, some of the historical elements of the fair will not be included. This includes the Downtown Parade and the Western Event Portfolio. We look forward to the return of these two events in 2022. The history of this event is as old as this community, and while it may not look like what it has been in recent years, we have can’t wait to welcome people back and we can’t wait to see everyone at Whoop-Up Days in September.

“As we were able to open it was fantastic to have people back in the lodges. Last week has been a great week here at the park with three separate events attracting thousands of people and I just have to say from our perspective here it was great to have people back, ”Warkentin said.

“One thing has become exceptionally clear from the number of questions we get, incoming calls, emails, questions in grocery stores, what’s going on with Whoop-Up Days this year. The importance of this event as a community celebration has never been greater and the reality is that we knew that with the building under construction, Whoop-Up Days would not be alike over the next two years ”, Warkentin said.

“We wanted to make sure that everyone who is ready and anyone who wants to can experience the sights, sounds, smells and of course the tastes of all that is Whoop Up Days.

“We also felt that there are a lot of people in the larger community who have had a few tough years, which is why this year the Whoop-Up Days will have free entry for people.”

Warkentin expects the parade to return next year.

“The parade is one of the truly unique gathering times where this community comes together in droves and we wanted to make sure that the parade could be the same experience for the people of Lethbridge as it normally would be, so we are looking forward to ‘welcome the return parade. in 2022.

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