Exhibition preparing for busy 2018
BUT THERE COULD BE MORE EVENTS WITH MORE SPACE
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.
Marketing manager Doug Kryzanowski announces the 2018 event lineup for Exhibition Park on Tuesday morning.