Ex­hi­bi­tion pre­par­ing for busy 2018

BUT THERE COULD BE MORE EVENTS WITH MORE SPACE

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Fol­low @NKuh­lHer­ald on Twit­ter Nick Kuhl nkuhl@leth­bridge­herald.com

New year, same space. For Ex­hi­bi­tion Park of­fi­cials, though, it’s some­thing they’ve grown used to.

De­spite an es­ti­mated $74mil­lion an­nual im­pact to the re­gion, and nearly 1,900 rental days per year, busi­ness is still be­ing turned away due to con­straints with ag­ing build­ings and lim­ited square footage avail­able.

“If we had more space, hope­fully it would be a lot more than that. And we think it would be, too,” said Doug Kryzanowski, mar­ket­ing man­ager at Ex­hi­bi­tion Park, Tues­day morn­ing dur­ing a me­dia launch for the 2018 events lineup.

“We are turn­ing build­ings over ev­ery three to six days. That’s great. It’s a great eco­nomic push.”

Kryzanowski’s other mes­sage Tues­day was for the eight main “sig­na­ture events” held at Ex­hi­bi­tion Park: Ag Expo, the Home and Gar­den Show, Ag­gie Days, the Chil­dren’s Fes­ti­val, Farm­ers’ Mar­kets, Open Farm Days, Whoop-Up Days, and the Big Christ­mas Show.

“We’ve been ob­vi­ously do­ing them for years. But it’s al­ways good to launch ev­ery year,” Kryzanowski said. “Ag Expo, of course the grandaddy, kicks off here in six weeks. And we end with a big Christ­mas show in De­cem­ber.”

Ag Expo is set for Feb. 28 to March 2, with 350 ex­hibitors con­firmed as well as a wait­ing list.

“Ag Expo is just slammed. Peo­ple want to be so much a part of it. We’re one of the big­gest four shows in Western Canada for an ag show,” Kryzanowski said.

“We need another 100,000 square feet. I think we would au­to­mat­i­cally get more booths. If we got more booth space, there would be more ex­hibitors — prob­a­bly more shows com­ing into Leth­bridge, too. But we’re a ways down the road on that, so we have to do with what we’ve got.”

The Home and Gar­den Show is sched­uled for March 21-24, Ag­gie Days will take place April 24-25, the Chil­dren’s Fes­ti­val will be May 4-5, Open Farm Days runs Aug. 18, and the Big Christ­mas Farm­ers’ Mar­ket and Tradeshow is on Dec. 1 and 2.

The pop­u­lar Farm­ers’ Mar­kets will run at Ex­hi­bi­tion Park on Satur­days from May 12 to Oct. 27, with the Down­town Leth­bridge ver­sion at Fes­ti­val Square set to re­turn Wed­nes­days from July 4 to Sept. 5.

From Aug. 21-25, the Whoop-Up Days Fam­ily Fes­ti­val will bring the parade, the re­turn of Buck­ing & Bar­rels, mul­ti­ple Gas King Stage con­certs, as well as the West Coast Mid­way and Fes­ti­val Street En­ter­tain­ment.

Kryzanowski also on Tues­day an­nounced this year’s honorary parade mar­shals. They will be the five Ro­tary Clubs of Leth­bridge, as Ro­tary in 2018 is cel­e­brat­ing 100 years in Leth­bridge.

There are five Ro­tary clubs in the city, with more than 200 mem­bers who pro­vid­ing fel­low­ship and ser­vice op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“For us to salute them back is awe­some,” Kryzanowski said. “We’re do­ing a lot of work on Whoop-Up Days for this year.”

More Whoop-Up Days an­nounce­ments, in­clud­ing the con­cert lineup, will be re­vealed in May or June.

Her­ald photo by Ti­jana Martin @TMart­inHer­ald

Mar­ket­ing man­ager Doug Kryzanowski an­nounces the 2018 event lineup for Ex­hi­bi­tion Park on Tues­day morn­ing.

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