June 22nd, 2024

Whoop-Up Days back in the swing of things!


By Herald on September 1, 2021.

A group of youngsters ride the swings at the midway during the opening day of Whoop-Up Days at Exhibition Park. The city's summer festival continues today and Saturday from noon until midnight with free admission and parking this year. Herald photo by Al Beeber

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald

Whoop-Up Days is back after COVID-19 prompted cancellation of last year’s summer fair in Lethbridge.

And after recent fairs elsewhere have matched or broken attendance records, Chief Executive Officer Mike Warkentin of the Lethbridge and District Exhibition, said Wednesday the potential exists for Whoop-Up Days to attract strong crowds.

Admission and limited parking are free but all visitors will be given a non-invasive temperature check at the gate. Visitors’ temperature must be no higher than 38C to get inside; if it is higher, a second test will be administered. If it remains above 38C after a second test, visitors won’t be allowed on the fairgrounds.

The fair continues today and Saturday from noon until midnight.

“The response from the community has been really positive and the response of other fairs in recent weeks in western Canada has been exceptionally positive,” Warkentin said.

“For example, Saskatoon and Regina both either broke or met record numbers of attendance and so I think the opportunity is there that there could be a tremendous amount of people at the site. That’s why we wanted to take some of the safety precautions that we did,” the CEO added.

“We’re just recommending mask wearing, hand sanitizing, hygiene. If you’re sick, we ask you to stay home. We’ll still be running this fair next year so we look forward to welcoming you back then. And we are mandating forehead temperature checks, no different than we did at our events in the winter,” he said.

Staff will be doing rapid COVID tests every morning before shifts and will be wearing masks “just so that we are doing everything that we can control to manage public safety at the event.”

The exhibition is recommending visitors wear masks at the fair “because we do expect large crowds of people.”

The fair will feature a smaller midway, run by Wild Rose Midway, which will be between 70 and 80 per cent of past year’s size. But it will take up the same physical space, said Warkentin. The midway will have 25 rides plus games and fair food.

“We are much more spread out than we would be and the other attractions aren’t taking up midway space this year. It’s a trimmed down version of Whoop-Up Days so there’s certainly more space to move around out there,” Warkentin said.

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Protocols and event listing

The AHS vaccination clinic will be open Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the West Pavilion of Exhibition Place.
The Exhibition is recommending fairgoers wear masks and practice both physical distancing and personal hygiene.
All staff will be required to take a rapid screen test each day to begin their shifts. They will also wear masks indoors and outdoors on shift and while interacting with visitors.
Hand sanitization stations will be situated throughout Exhibition Park for visitor use.
The Wild Rose midway will run through Saturday with 25 rides plus fair food and games.
Admission to the fairgrounds is free as is available parking which will be limited.
The midway will run Thursday from 4-11 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, it will be open noon until midnight.
On Sunday, the Rocky Mountain Turf Club will play host to races starting at 1:15 p.m.
A beer garden will open Thursday at 4 p.m. with last call at midnight. It will open Friday at noon and Saturday at 4 p.m. with last calls both days also at midnight.
Numerous food trucks will be set up onsite and will operate during fair hours.
Live music will be staged in Heritage Hall with Uncovered performing Thursday at 6 p.m., Ryan Lindsay at 7 p.m. Friday and the Eric Braun Band and Coda Blues on Saturday. They will play at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m respectively.
More details on this year’s edition of Whoop-Up Days will be in Thursday’s Herald.

 

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