Attendance on the first day of Westerner Days was 13,548.
After the annual kickoff parade on Wednesday drew a strong turnout, thousands then headed to the Westerner grounds to enjoy the annual fair and exposition.
The record attendance for the first day of the fair was 15,410, set in 2010.
The Westerner said that thousands of fans attended the Jess Moskaluke Main Stage show in the ENMAX Centrium with Nice Horse and Hey Romeo.
The parade had 136 entries participate this year. Winner of the Grand Award was Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre with their princess float, complete with an enchanted forest and Cinderella carriage. They also took first place for Commercial Entry.
New this year, is the Pony Steeplechase Championship Series with the smallest horses taking to take the race track prior to the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships. These little animals race at 4:30 p.m. daily, except for Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Fair attendees can win Grub Hub cash by participating in the Openhwy “Come Together and Get Social” contest. Use free access areas to Shaw Go WiFi and post your stories on social media. Fair-goers should use #WesternerDays and #TicketsAlberta to win daily prizes. If they are a winner, they will be notified the day of and can pick up their prize at the Guest Services booth.
Chilliwack and Kim Mitchell perform Thursday at the ENMAX Centrium Main Stage. The show begins at 8 p.m. but fans can receive reserved floor seating tickets (free with gate admission) by going to the Tickets Alberta Box Office at 4 p.m.
Other parade winners include:
Grand Award Honourable Mention: Alberta Motor Association
Adult Community Organization: Parkland Class/Relax Crew
Big People/Little People: Ashley & Friends Playschool
Civic Organization: Stettler Board of Trade
Collector Vehicles: Renny & Shannon Ceccato
Comic and/and Novelty: Curves
Commercial Float: Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre
Decorated Vehicle: Red Deer Child Care
Professionally Decorated: Alberta Motor Association
Horse Hitch: Double Tree Village & Museum
Riding Group: Electric Strides Drill Team
For a full list of events and other fair information, visit westernerdays.ca.