The Prince Albert Exhibition Association (PAEx) is planning for a bigger and better summer fair.
According to a press release issued this week, the 2019 edition of the summer fair will feature major attractions at the grandstand all day, the return of the reptile show and a circus-themed daily yard act.
“Some big changes are coming to the Prince Albert Exhibition Association’ Summer Fair for 2019,” PAEx said in a press release.
“For the first time in a number of years, there will be a major attraction at the grandstand all day.”
That focus on bringing more to the fair came from a response from visitors, president Robbie Ross said when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.
Each day will be full of entertainment, starting with Kiddies Day on Tuesday and ending with Saturday’s daylong showcase from the Saskatchewan Country Music Association.
Kiddies Day on Tuesday will see Donnie Parenteau and Roger Boucher teaming up to present an all-day event in the main Exhibition Hall, featuring an evening performance by the Saskatchewan Express.
Wednesday will feature the Hillbilly Hoedown, Stompin’ Tom Tribute and Flashback closing out the hall.
Thursday is the Dance Hall of Seniors day. That will feature Leon Oak, the Country Gentlemen and Dean Bernier with a grandstand show starring Donnie Parenteau and special guests at 7 p.m.
Friday’s main hall will showcase the Northern Prairie Dancers, Comedian Don Burnstick and Cash Back.
The grandstand will open Friday at 7 p.m. with local band Cold Shot, followed by Canadian band Street Heart.
Saturday will be an all-day country music showcase, with Rod Gjerde opening the grandstand at 8. That will be followed by a major country music act to be announced in mid-May. Fireworks will close out the week, following the grandstand show.
Chuckwagons are also making a return to the fair this year, organized by a new group, the Alberta Professional Chuckwagon and Chariot Association. As well, instead of a petting zoo, the PAEx will showcase Safari Jeff, a live, interactive reptile show.
Ross said Safari Jeff will be returning to Prince Albert for the first time in about 15 years.
As in previous years, West Coast Amusements will provide the midway. But some new rides will be premiered at the fair. Advance wristband tickets are now available.
Beef cattle shows will kick off the livestock side Wednesday evening with the market Steer Jackpot. Breed shows will continue Thursday and Friday, ending the week with the Junior Show Event on Saturday.
The light horse shows have been condensed, starting with 4-H on Thursday and leading into the open Friday and Saturday This year’s fair will also feature heavy horses with a heavy horse pull Friday and Saturday.
The yard act will be Dr. Von Houligan’s Carnival of Calamities, “a show focused on bringing joy and excitement to communities across Canada, providing affordable family fun while honouring the traditions of the circus,” The PAEx said in a press release.
Ross said the show will bring excitement under the big top and will serve to provide entertainment throughout the day, each day of the fair.
The show’s ringmaster, Allister Denton, started as a juggler, adding some tricks and eventually becoming a stage magician. The show will run three times daily.
It promises mad science, juggling, whip, magic, unicycling, stilts, acrobatics, balancing and fire breathing.
The focus during planning the 2019 fair was bringing a bigger, better show to Prince Albert, Ross said.
He added that the new PAEx board is doing a lot to enhance and improve the exhibition but also the grounds itself, including applying a new paint job to several facilities, last year’s paving project and improvement work int eh exhibition hall itself.
He advised that a big announcement regarding the fair will take place later in May.
This year’s summer fair is set to run from Tuesday, July 30 until Saturday, Aug. 3. It will kick off, as usual, with a parade on Monday, July 29.