It has been 745 days since the last corndog was served at the Queen City Exhibition in Regina, but on Friday, the doors opened again for the most anticipated event of the summer.
This year’s fair will be open for eight days at Evraz Place, something that hasn’t happened in more than 40 years. The event usually runs for five days, but with the extended stay, this allows the QCX to be open two weekends before it’s time to go back to school.
“It’s not summer in Regina without the fair,” says Mark Rathwell, manager of communications and public affairs for the Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL).
“It gives us a chance to gather, in a safe way as a community, and to achieve what our ‘new normal’ is.”
The QCX is open in two blocks, Aug. 20-22 and again from Aug. 25-29. The two-day break will allow for the grounds to be sanitized and cleaned, in keeping with COVID-19 protocols.
For those planning to attend, mask-wearing is encouraged, but not mandatory. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the venue.
Among other COVID-19 changes, most vendors will only accept cashless transactions, but ATMs will be located just inside the fair ground to allow for purchases at the limited vendors who accept cash.
Thanks to SGI’s “Safe Ride Program,” getting to and from the QCX is easy. Every day of the fair, gate ticket or Day Tripper tickets will allow a free ride on Regina Transit. Also, lucky ticketholders to Saturday’s Saskatchewan Roughriders football game get free admission to the fair.
REAL says all front-line workers can experience the QCX for free on Aug. 25. With valid ID at the gate, all front-line and essential workers, first responders, police, fire services, health care, and health services workers will be admitted without charge.
Live music also returns to the QCX on the Original 16 Grand Stage with a stacked lineup of Canadian talent.
Opening night featured a concert from Regina’s own JoJo Mason. Performances throughout the week will include Hunter Brothers and Wide Mouth Mason, wrapping up with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks show on Aug. 29.
Original 16 Grand Stage Concerts feature:
Friday, Aug. 20 – Reklaws and JoJo Mason
Saturday, Aug. 21 – 54-40 and The Watchmen
Sunday, Aug. 22 – The Halluci Nation (formerly the Tribe Called Red)
Wednesday, Aug. 25 – Scott Helman
Thursday, Aug. 26 – Hunter Brothers and The Washboard Union
Friday, Aug. 27 – Sam Roberts Band and K-OS
Saturday, Aug. 28 – The Trews and Wide Mouth Mason
Sunday, Aug. 29 – Regina Symphony Orchestra
Tickets are available at http://www.queencityex.com or at participating Sherwood Co-op locations.