BIG ANNOUNCEMENT - Shannon Penny and Ben Antifaiff of Westerner Park spoke about what to expect at this year’s Westerner Days. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Westerner Days returns Central Albertans to their western roots

New additions and entertainment lineup announced

Buckle-Up, Let’s Go! This year, Westerner Park is going back to its western roots.

Taking place July 18th to 22nd, it’s a time the whole family can enjoy, according to organizers.

“The agriculture and western heritage in Central Alberta is important, but by being successful in being awarded the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) this year, it really changed our focus a lot on that western sense of community,” said Ben Antifaiff, chief executive officer and general manager at Westerner Park.

On May 3rd, Westerner Days’ activities, new additions and entertainment lineup was announced, with the entertainment tying in with that western theme.

“This year is about celebrating our western roots by showcasing our Westerner pride. In the spirit of our theme this year, we have included two nights of country music to our main stage lineup,” said Antifaiff.

Kicking off the Main Stage lineup this year on July 18th is country stars Aaron Goodvin, Aaron Pritchett, along with a performance by local artist Alecia Aichelle.

Other entertainment includes Lee Aaron, Helix, River Town Saints, The Washboard Union, Virginia to Vegas, Dear Rogue and more.

“It’s the most entertainment we’ve had on the main stage in many years,” said Antifaiff.

Concluding each performance is a a display of fireworks at 11 p.m. (weather permitted).

This year, an open call went out to give up-and-coming artists the opportunity to play, with the lineup to be announced at a a later date.

Because of the ongoing expansion at Westerner Park, there is a bit of change needed to be done with the agricultural side of things. Rather than having activities in the AgriCentre, the Stockman’s Pavilion will now be holding some events.

New this year to the agricultural side of things is the Peavey Mart Discovery Barn where visitors will have the opportunity to learn about various farm animals.

With the various changed in the economy, Antifaiff is confident that it still supports things like Westerner Days.

“It actually makes it really easy to enjoy an activity for families and stay home and not incur the expense of travel.”

One of the other many new additions is the extension of the age limit to include kids 12 and under access to the rides all for just $15. On July 19th (Kids Day), kids 12 and under will also get free admission until 6 p.m.

There will be 41 rides in the Midway to choose from, with the Zipper coming back once again by popular demand. A new ride has been added to the mix called the Expo Wheel, a different version of a ferris wheel with buckets going around in a circular motion.

Also new this year is Funhaus Inflatables, something for all families to take part in.

Red Deerians can save up to $24 on Westerner Days passes now with Early Bird sales until June 14th on TicketsAlberta.com.

The advance sale begins June 15th until the 17th at participating Central Alberta Co-op locations.

Kicking off Westerner Days is the Westerner Days Parade, taking place July 18th at 9:30 a.m.

The launch of the Westerner Days website takes place May 3rd and a list of the times and rest of activities and entertainers can be found by visiting westernerdays.ca.

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