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Whoop-Up Days are returning this year with paid admission

By Lethbridge Herald on May 8, 2024.

Fairgoers can take a ride on one of the attractions halfway through last year’s Whoop-Up Days. The Lethbridge & District Exhibition is gearing up for this summer’s festival, which will take place from August 20 to 24. Herald file photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – [email protected]

The Lethbridge & District Exhibition on Wednesday announced some changes and new features for Whoop-Up Days 2024, which will take place from August 20 to 24 at the AgriFood Hub and Trade Centre.

Among the changes announced was the return of a paid admission of $10 in advance and $15 at the gate, with children 12 and under admitted free at any time.

But to make it affordable for as many people as possible, they announced that this year, thanks to Gas King, admission will once again be free for the first three days until 3 p.m.

Following this, Kim Gallucci, acting CEO of Lethbridge and District Exhibition, told the media that the change was made to improve the guest experience and the sustainability of the event.

“We can do more, offer more, especially with bands and different things for people. It also allows us to ensure we have different areas covered and increase security,” Gallucci said.

He said they want to provide participants with a safe, fun and exciting environment for families, the public and visitors in general.

“Although we had to reintroduce an entrance fee, we tried to make it as family-friendly as possible,” Gallucci said.

When asked about the economic impact the event has on the city, Gallucci said that while they don’t have an exact dollar amount, they know it attracts people from all over southern Alberta, filling hotels and restaurants.

“The other thing is that the involvement of the Blackfoot Confederacy and some other organizations really brings even more people into it, making it quite a tourist event,” Gallucci said.

Blackfoot Confederacy programming includes the Siksikaitsitapi Princess Pageant taking place on August 20, followed by the Siksikaitsitapi Pow Wow on August 21-22, where dancers, drummers and princess pageant participants will compete for more than $60,000 in prize money. Additionally, each evening of the Lethbridge & District Pro Rodeo concludes with relay races and the Blackfoot Confederacy programs the Original 16 Stage each day from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Paul Kingsmith, Director of Community Engagement for the Lethbridge and District Exhibition, said this year’s Whoop-Up Days has been almost a year in the making, as planning for the event began shortly after Whoop-Up Days 2023 concluded.

“The ideas trickled down and since January we have been working hard to get our line-up, entertainment, attractions, everything in order. Our team worked like crazy to get everything done and we are happy with what we were able to achieve together,” said Kingsmith.

He said this year’s live music entertainment will run for the entire five days instead of just three days like last year, filled with local and southern Alberta talent.

On August 22, rising Alberta country star Kyle McKearney will headline the evening’s entertainment.

On August 23, Canadian rock legends Big Sugar will take the stage and perform hits from a career that has made them one of Canada’s most successful bands of the past 30 years.

On August 24, the rodeo closing party will be headlined by Emerson Drive, one of Canada’s most successful country bands of the past 20 years, who will make their final appearance in Southern Alberta as part of their ‘One for the Road’ farewell tour. .

Throughout the rest of the week, some of Alberta’s best independent artists will take the stage, while original entertainment from the Blackfoot Confederacy will be featured daily from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. The full Original 16 Stage lineup is available at whoopupdays.ca

“The artists that we have, who aren’t the ones that maybe everyone has heard of, are amazing and they’re right here in our backyard, and they just need a chance to get some exposure,” Kingsmith said.

The West Coast Amusements Midway returns with more than 30 exciting rides and games, including new attractions never before seen in Lethbridge.

Other highlights include the return of the Wildlife Festival, the Extreme Dogs show held three times a day, Jumbo Ears, the Whoop-Up Days Marketplace, the new indoor Family Fun Zone at the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre, the Original 16 Patio and Lounge, the Food Truck Zone, the Fireworks Finale and much more, with additional announcements in the coming months.

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