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It’s Whoop-Up Time!

Posted on August 14, 2019 by Dave Sulz
Lethbridge Herald file photo by Ian Martens Riders on the Yoyo swings blur past in this slow-shutter-speed image from among the midway rides and lights at Exhibition Park during Whoop-Up Days in 2018.

It’s almost time to whoop it up!
The annual Whoop-Up Days Family Festival takes place Aug. 20-24 in Lethbridge, kicking off with the parade Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. and continuing through five days chock full of midway fun, musical entertainment and western entertainment.
The parade will feature the parents of former Humboldt Bronco Logan Boulet, Toby and Bernadine Boulet, serving as honorary parade marshals. Spectators are encouraged to don Green Shirt Day T-shirts to turn the parade route into a sea of green. All proceeds from the parade entries will be donated to the Logan Boulet Fund.
Exhibition Park will be open from noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, then from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (Aug. 22-24).
The midway will feature the usual wide assortment of exhilarating rides to stir the senses, provided by West Coast Amusements. The lineup includes three new rides — Sky Screamer, The Hulk and Vertigo.
Thursday, Aug. 22 will feature Moonlight Madness, offering unlimited rides, midway games and yummy treats for the price of $40 (includes general admission) from 5 to 11 p.m. only.
If rides aren’t your things, or if you just want a break between rides, check out the many attractions elsewhere at Exhibition Park, including the Venom Exhibit daily in the South Pavilion and the entertaining Acrobark Aerial Superdog Show daily (in the lot on the west side of the Main Pavilion).
Festival Street will feature Mango & Dango/The Flying Umbrella Ship daily as well as Dan the One Man Band.
The Main Pavilion will showcase Drone Flying Fun by Aerial Tech, Giant Blocks, and the Unique Trade Show.
The Country 95.5 Family Stage will feature Magician Boucher (daily), JJ First Charger Fancy Dance and Drumming (daily at 7 p.m.) and Roger Boucher Comedy Hypnosis.
The West Pavilion will feature the Western RV Country Show and Sale daily until 9 p.m.
Music is always a big part of the Whoop-Up Days experience and this year’s stellar StagEX Music Festival lineup kicks off Aug. 20 with a concert featuring southern Alberta’s Corb Lund, Aaron Goodvin, and Alee. It takes place on a new, relocated Gas King Stage that will accommodate an audience of up to 7,500 people, up from about 3,000 in previous years.
Aug. 21 will include the Sam Roberts Band, Nuela Charles, and Mariel Buckley. The Aug. 22 lineup features Walk Off the Earth, Scenic Route to Alaska, and the Julian Taylor Band. Aug. 23, the stage will host the Arkells, Dear Rouge, and the Dirty Nil. The concert schedule wraps up Aug. 24 with Lil Jon, Nortorious Yeg, and Harman B. Tickets for the shows are available online at whoopdays.ca. There’s also more music to be enjoyed at the Let ‘Er Buck Saloon.
Of course, what would Whoop-Up Days be without rodeo action to celebrate southern Alberta’s long ranching history?
The Exhibition Park Grandstand’s western events lineup will kick off Aug. 22 with the all-new Team Penning Jackpot. Aug. 23 and 24 will feature bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback riding, and ladies’ barrel racing.
All western events are included with general admission and take place in the grandstand infield starting at 6:30 p.m.
It all adds up to a whole lot of fun and entertainment for all ages.

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