Dinosaurs Unearthed is located in Exhibition Hall at Westerner Days. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Rain doesn’t scare visitors away from Westerner Days

Attendance steady at Red Deer fair and exhibition

Rain hasn’t stopped central Albertans from getting out to Westerner Days, where there are loads of indoor activities when the weather turns nasty.

On Thursday, 11,862 visitors came out to Westerner Park despite the damp, cool forecast, and 2,495 attended the free concert at the TD Mainstage inside the Centrium featuring Aaron Goodvin and Jason Benoit.

“It’s typical of Alberta weather, so I think people are kind of used to it and they made the best of the day. They still had fun. It’s still a summer celebration,” said Ashley Nelson, marketing and communications assistant manager at Westerner Park.

Momentum started on Wednesday when attendance reached 14,371, which was the highest attendance for opening day in the past three years.

“There was a record number for attendance at the parade as well. We usually get 30,000 people out. This year, we had over 35,000.”

She said people were really excited about the beautiful weather on parade day and many went straight to Westerner Days after the last float passed by.


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Thursday was Tim Hortons Kids Day, with free admission for children 12 and under until 6 p.m.

Nelson said indoor shows and activities were packed on the discount day. People are particularly impressed with Dinosaurs Unearthed in Exhibition Hall.

“Everyone is really loving it. There were a bunch of kids in there with their dino shirts, and dino hats and dino backpacks.”

She said the Family Fun Zone in the Harvest Centre was also busy all day, with kids colouring, painting and playing games.

Hungry visitors made sure to check out the Grub Hub outside, and had the option to take their food indoors to enjoy.

Nelson said the weather really didn’t impact attendance much.

“We’re really pleased with how families stuck it out.”

Due to the rain, Westerner Days Firework Spectacular was moved from Friday to Saturday at 11 p.m. on the race track. Friday’s pony chuckwagon races were also cancelled.


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Marlis Rose knelt down beside Oliver Belserowski, 2, of Red Deer, as they checked out one of the giant dinosaurs at Dinosaurs Unearthed on Friday at Westerner Days. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

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