The Agri-Trade Equipment Expo will make a return to Red Deer’s Westerner Park after the dust settles at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
The annual event, which is a joint-venture between the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park, returns Nov. 10-12, after the 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“It’s going to be awesome to get back into an in-person event, where people can actually come out and do some business,” said show manager David Fiddler.
Westerner Park is participating in the province’s Restriction Exemption Program, meaning attendees will need to provide proof of vaccination, a negative test result, medical exemption or an age restriction to get into the facility. There will be a rapid testing facility on site.
Before the pandemic, 2019 was “one of the biggest shows” that Agri-Trade has ever had. Fiddler said he’s hoping this year’s show will return to that level of success.
“Normally we would see about 30,000 attendees. I’m hoping we won’t see much less, but we do think that COVID restrictions will have some impact on our attendance,” he said.
“But I’m sure if people are in the business of agriculture and want to conduct business, they will be there. Our online ticket sales are ahead of 2018 and 2019, so that’s encouraging.”
There will be about 500 booths during the three-day event.
Fiddler said Agri-Trade has received calls from more than just Albertans.
“We’ve had many calls from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C., with people asking about coming and where to stay,” he said.
“There haven’t been many ag events this year, we’re the first larger one to really get going this fall. We’re hoping to see a good crowd because of that.”
The Ag Innovations program has received “more applicants than ever before,” Fiddler noted.
“We’ve got some really high profile and wonderful inventions and innovations that are going to be on display,” said Fiddler.
“We have a competition on Nov. 11 at 3 p.m., when the top five entrants get a chance to pitch their innovations to a panel of judges. There’s $25,000 up for grabs in prize money.”
For more information, visit www.agri-trade.com.