Even if it rains during Westerner Days — the show will go on — since there’s plenty of indoor entertainment, concerts and activities to be had each day.
Indoors at Adventure Alley, the furry stars of President’s Choice SuperDogs Hollywoof show are eager to perform for animal lovers.
Set to movie music, about 40 dogs race around, jump, tunnel, and perform tricks with the audience cheering them on.
“I saw lots of full stands yesterday. They get into the personalities of dogs,” said dog trainer Sarah Laudin, on Thursday about the SuperDog audience.
Laudin, of Red Deer, has trained Hip Hop, a small, mixed-breed dog, who skips rope and is one of the fastest canines in the show.
“They love to get out and play. This is fun agility. There’s no competition. This is entertainment.”
Best of all, the dogs have a good time, she said.
“They are our pets. They are our buddies,” Laudin said.
Trainer Bree Philipoff, of Calgary, said her golden doodle Maxie is a regular ‘Lady Gaga’ when she has an audience.
“She loves the spotlight. When people cheer for her, she gets really excited about that,” Philipoff said.
Audience members also get into the act during the Frozen Showdown when dogs race to retrieve clothing for volunteers to wear.
“In Hollywood, there’s always wardrobe assistants. The dogs are the wardrobe assistants.”
After the show, people can meet the trainers and their dogs.
Also located in Adventure Alley is Little Ray’s Australia featuring exotic animals from Down Under, and next door is the indoor Holiday Inn 19th Street Market. Agricultural activities at the fair are also held indoors.
At Alex LaSalle’s Petting Pals, visitors can pet farm animals inside the Little Red Barn where they can purchase hay pellets to feed the goats, sheep, donkey, camel and other critters.
Petting Pals owner Alex LaSalle said the Highland calf, who almost looks like a buffalo, is attracting a lot of attention.
“Everyone’s trying to figure out what he is,” LaSalle said with a smile.
He said the animals spend a lot of time with humans and are fed by hand to keep them tame when they aren’t in the petting zoo.
He said children who come out to meet the animals have a refreshing attitude.
“(Children) appreciate animals more today, maybe through education at the schools.”
And the animals are happy to meet the kids.
“Wherever they get fed all the time, they like it,” LaSalle said.
Meghan Gustum, marketing manager for Westerner Days, is looking forward to a sunny weekend so people can enjoy the fair’s indoor and outdoor activities.
“Like any outdoor event, we’re at the mercy of the weather. But it usually works out pretty well for us,” Gustum said.
The warm, sunny weather drew 13,620 people to Westerner Days on opening day on Wednesday. The attendance record was set in 2010 with 15,410 people.
Westerner Park and All Pro Chuckwagon and Chariot Association canceled Thursday night’s Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships due to the weather for the safety of the animals and drivers.
Weather permitting, the Pony Chuckwagons will be held Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Gustum said Friday’s fireworks will go ahead at 10:45 p.m. if the weather allows. If necessary, fireworks can be rescheduled for Saturday night at 10:45 p.m.
“Either way, we’ll have the fireworks,” she said.
Hypnotist Dale K, who is performing daily at the outdoor Red Deer Advocate Midway Stage, said rain will scare off some people from outdoor activities, but there are others determined to have some fun.
“It takes a lot of rain to keep them away.”