Michael Owens of Movie Stunt Adventures flips while jumping during a show at Westerner Days Sunday.

Westerner will likely break overall attendance record

Sunday’s attendance at Westerner Days has yet to be announced, but it’s safe to say Red Deer’s annual fair will likely break the overall attendance record set in 2011.



Sunday’s attendance at Westerner Days has yet to be announced, but it’s safe to say Red Deer’s annual fair will likely break the overall attendance record set in 2011.

Last year 93,965 people visited the five-day event at Westerner Park.

In the first four days of the 2012 fair, a total of 81,324 came out to play at Westerner Days.

With the good weather on Sunday afternoon, a steady stream of vehicles was filling the parking lot.

“To beat our overall attendance, we actually don’t even need to have that big of a day today.

We would need to have 12,642 people come through the gates,” said Erin Gobolos, Westerner Park marketing manager, on Sunday.

“We could do it.”

Sunday’s attendance will be announced today. (Monday)

On Saturday, a total of 21,517 visitors passed through the gates, compared to 26,825 in 2011 which set a new Saturday record for the fair.

About 4,500 came out to the free concert featuring country singer Terri Clark on Saturday night.

On Friday, 22,492 people came out, compared to 14,885 in bad weather at the 2011 fair.

The Friday record was set in 2010 with 24,302.

A diverse crowd of about 5,200 people attended Friday’s Nazareth concert.

“That’s huge.

“Classic rock is a really popular night for us,” Gobolos said.

On Saturday and Sunday visitors to livestock exhibits at the Stockmans Pavilion were introduced to a growing sensation — The Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club.

The club, started in 2007 by 4-H members in Calgary, brought 21 rabbits to Westerner Days for the first time where they bounced over bars and climbed over A-frames on a minature agility course.

The adorable domestic breeds gained celebrity status appearing in March on Canada’s Got Talent where they charmed the audience, but failed to impress judges.

“I think it’s awesome. Ridiculous, but awesome, and he’s loving it,” said Kim Goddard, of Edmonton, with her four-and-a-half-year-old son Benjamin.

“Babbitty rabbit,” cheered Benjamin as he watched Babbitty Rabbitty race through the obstacle course with a winning time of 10.41 seconds.

Club founder Amanda Greening, of Calgary, said her club now does about 40 events each year.

“We’ve been invited to Hong Kong. We’ve been invited to Manitoba, Toronto, all kinds of places,” Greening said.

In August, the club will be at Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver.

Greening said rabbits are smart and getting them involved in agility helps stimulate them and burns energy.

“You can teach them voice commands. I doubt he’ll do it here because he’s kind of excited, but at home he knows spin on command and stand up,” she said about Babbitty Rabbitty who is five years old.

For more information and the club’s YouTube video from Canada’s Got Talent visit canadianrabbithoppingclub.com.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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