By Stan Ashbee
Westwind Weekly News
Exhibition Park in Lethbridge recently unveiled its 2019 event line-up and announced the StagEX Music Festival scheduled to be held during this year’s summer Whoop-Up Days celebration. 122-year history
Through Exhibition Park’s partnership with Visit Lethbridge, its event programming will focus on the “EXtra” it can do — including to further establish Lethbridge and southern Alberta, as a marquee tourism destination; cultivate an environment at all of its events synonymous with safety and accessibility for each one of its guests; and build an event and entertainment portfolio certain to have something for everybody — according to a recent media release.
StagEX Music Festival, it was explained in the media release, will be a multi-year commitment by Exhibition Park to build a unique tourism property that will not only attract local guests, but visitors from all over Western Canada. Exhibition Park, it was stated in the media release, has partnered with Trixstar Productions – Alberta-based live event and entertainment consultants who produce marquee Canadian events including Big Valley Jamboree and the 2018 Grey Cup Festival.
“We are excited to partner with Exhibition Park to help develop a creative entertainment program that will build on the over 100-year history Exhibition Park has. The newly unveiled StagEX will immediately bring attention to the region and over the next few years continue to grow into one of Western Canada’s premiere summer events,” noted Trixstar, in the media release. More about the event will be announced in April.
According to Mike Warkentin, chief operating officer at Exhibition Park, one of the main activities Exhibition Park is undertaking in 2019 is to present a shovel-ready development plan to Lethbridge city council for June.
“We are currently on schedule with these plans and we’re about to embark on our final set of stakeholder engagement sessions to prepare us for that final push,” he said, during a recent media scrum held last month.
In 2019, Exhibition Park proudly presents Ag Expo and the North American Seed Fair Feb. 27-Mar. 1, the Home and Garden Show Mar. 20-23, Aggie Days Apr. 10-11, Alberta Open Farm Days Aug. 17-18, Whoop-Up Days and StagEX Music Festival Aug. 20-24, and the Big Christmas Farmers’ Market and Trade Show Nov. 29-30. The Saturday Farmers’ Markets at the park are being held May 11 to Oct. 26 and the Downtown Farmers’ Markets will be held July 3 to Sept. 4. Other events being held at the park include Street Machine Weekend July 13-14, Lethbridge Ribfest Aug. 30-Sept. 1, and Oktoberfest Sept. 27-28.
“Each year, Exhibition Park brings thousands of people to our community through our partner and signature events — 2019 promises to be no different. Something we’ve come to realize is our need to evolve and to adapt to an ever-growing community and region. That’s why this year, we’re focusing on the ‘EXtra’ we can do,” added Warkentin.