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L.A. Beat

Whoop Up days dubbed a success despite rain, construction and less music

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Despite inclement weather, ongoing construction, and a trimmed down music program, organizers are calling Whoop Up Days 2022 a success.


Exhibition park CEO Mike Warkentin talks to media abut Whoop Up Days 2022. Photo by RichardAmery

 They are already planning for next year including putting together a music program.


Lethbridge Exhibition park Chief Executive officer Mike Warkentin noted 23,000 visitors passed through Exhibition Park gates for the popular summer fair.

Whoop Up Days takes over a year to plan, so  there wasn’t much of a music program this year.


“Its a really big missing piece of Whoop Up days. It’s an important component,” said Warkentin.


“ Music will definitely be part of it next year,” he said.


He said they will be planning a bigger music program for Whoop Up Days 2023.


“ It’s an important part of the experience,” he said.


“ When we were planning for this year it was in the middle of Covid and we didn’t really know what was going to happen,” he continued, adding construction of the  Trade and Convention centre on the site, meant  a little less parking and less room for the festival on the site.


“After construction, there will be a storm pond area that can be converted into an amphitheatre,” Warkentin said.

“The feedback has been very positive,” Warkentin said at a post Whoop Up Days press conference.


Attendance was far off the record of 38,000 in 2019 when they had the Stage EX music festival.


“ Mother Nature tried to throw a wrench into out plans and there was a 40 minute rain delay on Thursday for the rodeo, but most people stuck it out. So it was a successful week,” he said, adding there are  a lot of opportunities to expand the demographic appeal of WhoopUp Days.


“The excitement level is at a level that I haven’t experienced in my time at Whoop Up Days and I think part of that was due to, obviously the pandemic, and being able to get back together as a community,” he added, crediting the addition of the powwow and the return of the pro rodeo, which Whoop Up Days hasn’t featured in a decade, for attracting a new segment of the population.


He noted organizers expected 100 participants for the powwow, but got 160 dancers plus several drum groups including two Grammy award winning drum groups.


“The rodeo was phenomenal,” he said noting several cowboys advanced in the national standings because of the Whoop Up Days rodeo.


“We look forward to having the rodeo back,” he said, adding it didn’t sell out this year.


 Warkentin said  they are still figuring out the economic impact of Whoop Up Days on the city, as well as how much money they made.


“ We made a profit this year,” he said.

 Warkentin encourage people to give their feedback about  Whoop Up Days by filling out a survey available on the Whoop Up Days Facebook page. 

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 September 2022 14:15 )  
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