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)

Westerner Days: Weekend hours extended

Things heated up indoors on the Friday of Westerner Days Fair & Exposition as Central Alberta continued to experience rain and windy conditions.

Over 10,978 people were welcomed to Westerner Park on the third day of the fair, as crowds flocked to the indoor activities being offered at Westerner Days.

Due to unfavourable weather conditions over the initial three days of Westerner Days Fair & Exposition, the fair is extending weekend hours of operation to allow for guests to enjoy what time is left of Central Alberta’s largest summer celebration.

Gates opened to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday and same goes for Sunday, one hour before the regularly scheduled opening time. Additionally, hours of operation have been extended on Sunday until 11 p.m., rather than 10 p.m.

A good time was had by all who visited Murray Hatfield the Magician’s magic show and bounced on the Fun Haus inflatables at Real Country Adventure Alley.

Visitors had the unique opportunity to spin their own rope for lassoing inside the Peavey Mart Discovery Barn, courtesy of Joel Lybbert of the Joel & Jasper show. Lybbert is quickly becoming a Westerner Days crowd favourite with his steer, Jasper, and buffalo calf, Indy. The Agricentre saw a beaming crowd for the beloved Longhorn Show, where spectators were invited back to catch the Longhorn Jackpot tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Outdoor entertainment was accommodated inside for the day, as the Laughing Loggers brought the fun to the Holiday Inn 19th Street Market with their interactive axe throwing activity. Bandaloni and Doo Doo the Clown entertained visitors as they meandered through the indoor venues.

The celebration continued inside the Centrium for Glow Night. Guests were adorned with glow sticks and light-up swag as they entered the venue; once through the doors, they were greeted by glowing lounge furniture and luminescent aerial performers from The Forum, creating a fantastic atmosphere for the evening’s free concert. Over 3,296 people came out to see Streetheart, Headpins, and Holly Woods & Toronto rock the TD Main Stage at the summer’s ultimate glow party.

Part of producing central Alberta’s largest summer celebration requires being flexible around the unpredictable weather that our region is known for. The Firework Spectacular has been rescheduled to 11 p.m. Saturday in lieu of Friday’s inclement weather. The Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championship races did not run Friday night, as officials determined the Racetrack conditions were not optimal for neither driver nor animal safety. The races continue Saturday at 5 p.m., starting off with the first heat of Chariots.

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