It’s time to “celebrate the kid in you” at Westerner Days.
Organizers are hoping that people will have a chance to relive their childhoods and also bring their children to create new memories during Westerner Days from July 15 to 19.
“It’s a great event for families to come out and connect,” said Erin Gobolos, marketing and sponsorship manager for Westerner Park.
A few changes this year make the event more family friendly, with Westerner Park moving families out of the beer garden and into the new non-smoking Sunny Family Fun Zone, which will be open from noon to 8 p.m. The area will have the Enmax Family Barbecue Pit and the Dairyland Kids Corral. The casino will move out of the Harvest Centre so families have access to larger washrooms and an adjacent grassed area. Children will also enjoy the KFC Little Red Barn and Ag Awareness area.
The Westerner Days parade will kick things off at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. It starts at the Red Deer Arena, then goes north on 47th Avenue, west on 53rd Street, south on 50th Avenue and then east on 48th Street.
The Fas Gas Plus Northern Lights Fireworks Show is set for Saturday at 10:45 p.m.
This year’s North American Midway will be open from noon to midnight and offers 39 rides, everything from the Tornado to bumper cars, the ferris wheel and Bulgy the Whale.
Gobolos said this year they’ve decided to be more environmentally friendly so the midway and concessions will only put on lights during the evening and lights will be turned down in buildings to conserve energy. Enmax will supply electricity through wind power.
Each night, Hearts of the West Trick Rides start at 6 p.m. at the racetrack, followed by CKGY Pony Chuckwagon Races at 6:30 p.m.
The Coca Cola Livestock Pavilion will showcase goats, miniature donkeys and miniature horses and the AFSC Livestock Pavilion will have the 63rd annual Provincial 4-H Dairy Show and beef shows. The RBC Arts Pavilion will include the Masterpiece tea house and the Red Deer College Series Summer School of the Arts.
For the adults, there is the All Slots Casino and Lounge and the Molson Canadian Chalet.
Tickets to Ride for $27 cover gate admission and unlimited midway rides for any one day.
They are available at Bower Place Shopping Centre guest services and FasGas and FasGas Plus locations until Tuesday.
McDonald’s Kids Day is set for Thursday, with free admission for children 12 and under until 6 p.m. and kiddie rides reduced by one ticket until 7 p.m. Enmax family day is Sunday, with admission and parking for $20 for a carload of up to six people.
Gate admission is $9 for adults, $5 for those 65 and older, $7 for youth age 13 to 18, $4 for children six to 12 and free for children five and under. Parking costs $6.
This year it should be easier to find a parking spot, with Westerner Park adding 580 new stalls recently.
Those wanting to take the Red Deer Transit can take Route 1 from Vanier Woods, Lancaster or city centre or Route 10 from West Park, Bower Place Shopping Centre or city centre. Service begins at 6:15 a.m. and runs every half an hour until 11:15 p.m. at a cost of $2.15 for adults or $1.85 for students or seniors.
More information on Westerner Days is available online at: www.westernerdays.ca or on the Facebook group Westerner Days Fair & Exposition.