July 20th, 2024

Whoop-Up Days returning this year with paid admission

By Lethbridge Herald on May 8, 2024.

Fair-goers take a spin on one of the rides at the midway during last year’s Whoop-Up Days. The Lethbridge & District Exhibition is preparing for this summer’s festival set to take place Aug. 20 - 24. Herald file photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge & District Exhibition announced Wednesday some changes and new features for Whoop-Up Days 2024 taking place Aug. 20 to Aug. 24 at the AgriFood Hub and Trade Centre. 

One of the changes announced was the return of a paid admission of $10 in advance and $15 at the gate with children 12 years old and under entering for free at any time.

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

To this, Kim Gallucci, acting CEO of Lethbridge and District Exhibition told media that the change was made to enhance guests experience and the sustainability of the event. 

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

He said they want to provide attendees a secure, fun and exciting environment for families, public and visitors in general. 

“Even though we had to re-introduce an admission fee we tried to make it as family-friendly as possible,” said Gallucci. 

When asked about the economic impact the event has on the city, Gallucci said that even though they don’t have an exact dollar amount, they are aware it brings people from across southern Alberta, filling up hotels and restaurants. 

“The other piece of it is, having the Blackfoot Confederacy involved and a number of other organizations really brings in even more people, that makes it quite a tourism event,” said Gallucci. 

The Blackfoot Confederacy programming includes the Siksikaitsitapi Princess Pageant taking place on Aug. 20, followed by the Siksikaitsitapi Pow Wow on Aug. 21-22, where dancers, drummers and princess pageant contestants compete for more than $60,000 in prize money. As well, each night of the Lethbridge & District Pro Rodeo will be capped off with Relay Races and the Blackfoot Confederacy will program the Original 16 Stage from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

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 the planning of the event started shortly after Whoop-Up Days 2023 wrapped up. 

“Ideas have been percolating and since January we’ve been going hard on trying to get our lineup, entertainment, attractions, everything in order. Our team has been working like crazy to try to get everything done and we’ve been thrilled with what we’ve been able to pull together,” said Kingsmith. 

He said this year the live music entertainment will be taking place through the whole five days instead of just three days like last year, filled with local and southern Alberta talent. 

On Aug. 22, up-and-coming Alberta country star Kyle McKearney will headline the evening’s entertainment. 

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

On Aug. 24 the rodeo wrap-up 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 southern Alberta appearance as part of their “One for the Road” farewell tour.

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

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

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

Other highlights include the return of the Wildlife Festival, the Extreme Dogs show that runs three times daily, Jumbo Ears, the Whoop-Up Days Marketplace, the new Family Fun Zone indoors 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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They have not made a penny on me or my famliy in the last ten years! Doubt they will do any better this year! One huge money sucking pit!

Corn-fest in Taber is a better time and does not bleed-out your wallet!

Last edited 2 months ago by johnny57