LETHBRIDGE - It's going to be another busy year at Exhibition Park.
The 2018 signature events were announced this morning (Jan. 30), and kick off with the Ag Expo, which takes place Feb. 28 - Mar. 2. Spokesperson Doug Kryzanowski says there will be more than 350 booths, and it's one of the four biggest shows in western Canada. But every year, they have to turn away many potential exhibitors.
"We need another 100,000 square feet. You know I think we would automatically get more booths. If we got more booths, basically there would be more exhibitors; probably more shows coming in to Lethbridge, too. More events, more activity. But we're way down the road on that, so we have to do with what we've got, and we think we do it pretty well despite some exhibitors not being very happy."
For instance, Kryzanowski says the Home and Garden Show will also have exhibitors on a waiting list the day the show starts, just in case someone doesn't show up. The same thing happens during Ag Expo.
While the numbers are four years old, Kryzanowski says the economic impact of all the events during a given year are in the tens of millions of dollars, and the buildings are constantly in use.
"We do almost 1900 event nights and days. If you divide that by 365 days a year we're turning over buildings every three to six days... so we've been around for 120 years for a reason... but our impact is $74 million a year."
And as part of Whoop - Up Days celebrations, this year's parade marshals will include the 200 members of the five local Rotary Clubs which are celebrating 100 years in Lethbridge.
Here's a list of this year's events:
- Ag Expo - Feb. 28 to Mar. 2
- Home and Garden Show - Mar. 21 to 24
- Aggie Days - April 24 &25
- Children's Festival - May 4 &5
- Farmers' Market - Exhibition Park Saturdays beginning May 12
- Downtown Lethbridge Farmers' Market - Wednesdays, beginning July 4
- Open Farm Days - Aug. 18
- Whoop Up Days Family Festival - Aug. 21 to 25
- Big Christmas Farmers' Market & Tradeshow - Dec. 1 & 2
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