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Westerner Days 2023 is returning next month with more Ag displays, larger beer garden, new attractions

‘It’s an adrenaline-fuelled adventure’
Pony Chuckwagon Races will return with Westerner Days 2023, which will be on July 19 to 23 in Red Deer. (Advocate file photo)

Westerner Days is returning to Red Deer next month with some brand-new attractions and more thrills.

From rockin’ with the Arkells, to a bigger AgVenture and heart-pounding Pony Chuckwagon Races, central Alberta’s annual outdoor extravaganza will be back in Red Deer from July 19 to 23.

Sticky and delicious fair foods will be on offer, as well as a dizzying array of rides on the midway — including a new Monster Truck ride that comes with a backseat for kids. Westerner Park’s marketing and communications manager, Marla Lowe, promises “an adrenaline-fueled adventure” for all ages — starting with fun pig races at the Community Corner.

This year’s Westerner Days will be spreading out into all of Westerner Park’s pavilions and will offer a bigger beer garden, more agriculture exhibits, and a larger market.

As for entertainment, Juno Award-winning rock band Arkells will performing hits, such as Knocking at the Door and Past Life, at the Centrium on Saturday July 22 (concert tickets are extra but include fair entry through

But live music will be heard every day at the fair.

Lowe said this summer’s beer garden will be a “vibrant hub of entertainment,” with bands such as Red Deer’s Face the Earth and others to keep crowds grooving. As fair-goers seek some solace from the sun in this shaded outdoor entertainment district and treat themselves to a beer, there will also be a “culinary paradise” of food truck cuisine available, she added.

Younger ones will have an “exhilarating” experience at KidVenture, which Lowe describes as the ultimate destination for family fun and excitement. From a dunk-tank to a Hula Hoop Circus and face-painting, there will be a plethora of things for kids to do — including exploring the Game Boardwalk, Sugar Shack, and Live Reptile Exhibit. And there will also be a Kids Corral that caters to ages 5 and under.

A wider world of agriculture will open up at AgVenture. Come see some yaks, cute mini cows and horses up close and personal, said Lowe. “Be left in awe at the gravity-defying jump show and fun of Extreme Bull Fighting. Marvel at the artistry of Twisted Steel Blacksmithing and get a glimpse into rural life through the 4H Club and farm machinery displays…”

This year’s 19th Street Market will also be re-imagined and larger than last year. Lowe calls it a “haven for foodies and shopaholics,” with a choice of wine, beer and other refreshments, as well as live entertainment and a range of shopping opportunities.

And of course, Westerner Days is bringing back the Pony Chuckwagon Races — a crowd favourite and “the crown jewel” of the fair, said Lowe. As the APCCA (Alberta Professional Chuckwagon and Chariot Association) celebrates its 55th Anniversary, prepare to see display races between 32 wagons and 32 chariots, driven by the best racers from Alberta and Saskatchewan.

For more information about tickets, special pricing and theme days, please visit westernerdays. ca.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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