Thrill seekers line up for the swing ride at the midway during Westerner Days on Wednesday afternoon.

Mother Nature spares opening day of Westerner Days

The dark clouds lingering in the distance, along with a severe thunderstorm watch, didn’t stop people from converging on Westerner Park Wednesday.



The dark clouds lingering in the distance, along with a severe thunderstorm watch, didn’t stop people from converging on Westerner Park Wednesday.

The opening day of Westerner Days Fair and Exposition kicked off without a hitch, despite weather that threatened to put a damper on the fun.

Mother Nature’s wrath stayed away long enough for large crowds to flock to the fair. There was also a window of opportunity for the Canadian Forces Parachuting Team, the SkyHawks, to jump into the grounds of the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships.

“It was definitely touch and go there for a while,” admitted Westerner Park marketing manager Erin Gobolos.

The exposition and fair opened to the public at noon and Faron and Teri Halliday’s family did not want to miss the first day of rides, food and entertainment.

Their children Jaala, 12, and Leisha Vandenborre, 10, had just finished getting off of the Fire Ball — one of the 41 rides provided by North American Midway Entertainment.

“That was awesome,” Leisha said. “I like going upside down.”

The family, from Red Deer, plans on attending Westerner Days every year. They keep coming back to see the smiles on their children’s faces, Teri said.

“It is a great family thing to do.”

Faron and Teri say they budget for Westerner Days by purchasing wrist bands for their children at $35, instead of counting tickets. The Vertigo ride takes six tickets, of which are $1 each.

“It’s a good cost for the wrist bands and we try and not over spend,” Faron said.

Two new rides featured on the midway are Cuckoo House and Chopper Charlie.

Charmaine Varcoe’s four-year-old daughter, Mykendra Melzer, had just exited the Cuckoo House.

“This is a lot of fun and there are good kid rides,” Varcoe, from Camrose, said.

But it wasn’t just the rides and smell of mini-donuts, cotton candy and deep-fried treats that brought people out to the midway.

Bandaloni, the one-man band and Copper Cowboy entertained passersby. Midway entertainers, including Red Deer’s own Spandy Andy, have daily show times.

Randy Tribiger and Richard Jaburek, medieval specialists from Wetaskiwin, were also roaming the midway.

The sirs of KnightHaven are available to discuss the art of medieval warfare, which uses specially designed foam weapons.

•There are 17 offsite events, including pancake breakfasts, barbecues, a chili cookoff and show and shine.

• Gate admission: Adults are $10, youth (13-17) are $8, children (6-12) are $4 and children under five are free. Seniors get in for $5. Parking at Westerner Park is $6.

•Sawyer Brown will be performing today at 8:30 p.m. Doors for the show open at 7:30 p.m. It is free with gate admission.

Visit www.westernerdays.ca/concerts for a list of show times and performances.

•Thursday is McDonald’s Kids Days, where children 12 and under get gate admission for free until 6 p.m. Ride coupons are reduced by $1 until 7 p.m.

•Sunday is Service Credit Union Family Day, where a carload of up to six people get gate admission and parking for $20.

•The Northern Lights Fireworks show will brighten the night sky on Friday evening.

Westerner Days finishes up on Sunday at 10:30 p.m.

For detailed information, including times and locations, visit www.westernerdays.ca.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

CRA’s automatic benefit registrations give retirees reason to file on time

TORONTO — This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Most Read