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Whoop-Up Days sets attendance record in 2023

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Whoop-Up Days sets attendance record in 2023
WATCH: More people than ever flocked to Whoop-Up Days this summer and Lethbridge & District Exhibition says multiple new attendance records were set. As Quinn Campbell tells us, the benefits of those big crowds extended beyond the exhibition. – Aug 30, 2023

The dust has settled and the numbers are in for this year’s Whoop-Up Days.

Mike Warkentin, Lethbridge & District Exhibition CEO, said this year’s fair set new attendance records.

“Over 77,000 people came through the gates of the fair,” said Warkentin.

That is 160 per cent higher than the six-year average. Saturday also set a new single-day record of 23,310 visitors.

The pro rodeo saw 5,116 people visit over three days, nearly 2,000 more than the previous years.

Warkentin said that level of traffic was driven by free admission, good weather and a brand new facility.

“There was a lot of curiosity about the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre and literally thousands of people got the opportunity to see and experience this venue.”

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Click to play video: 'Lethbridge and District Exhibition officially opens the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre'
Lethbridge and District Exhibition officially opens the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre

Trevor Lewington, Economic Development Lethbridge CEO, said this type of event is beneficial to the local economy in many ways.

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“Whoop-Up Days definitely attracts visitors to the city, so that’s good. Visitors often stay in hotels and eat in our restaurants, so that’s new money coming into the economy.

“We don’t really know how much of that attendance is from out-of-town people but we know that’s a portion of it,” said Lewington.

“The other thing that happens of course at Whoop-Up Days is there are a number of pancake breakfasts so it’s good for charities. There are a number of not-for-profits in the city that use Whoop-Up Days to raise funds.”

Click to play video: 'Taber Cornfest returns for 2023 festival'
Taber Cornfest returns for 2023 festival

With such a rush to the gates, Warkentin said the mass amounts of people did show some areas for improvement.

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“We will have to do a better job of managing line control in the future and understanding that guest experience starts from the minute someone enters the line, as well as things like washrooms and things like that,” said Warkentin.

“It was just more people than we anticipated or had ever seen.

“When we look at a six-year average of around 30,000 people and we more than doubled that, it obviously creates some operational challenges.”

Planning for the 2024 Whoop-Up Days is already underway and with free admission set to continue for at least another four years, visitors can expect a busy midway and rodeo moving forward.

Click to play video: 'Animal exhibits entertaining Whoop-Up Days visitors'
Animal exhibits entertaining Whoop-Up Days visitors

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