ESTEVAN - The long-awaited weekend of double excitement is almost here.
The Energy City Ex Fair and Rodeo, organized by the Estevan Exhibition Association, is happening June 9-12 at the exhibition grounds with tons of entertainment, events and activities.
The West Coast Amusement midway rolled into the city Monday and is getting ready to make Estevan laugh and scream again after two long years away. The fair will be open starting at 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at noon Saturday and Sunday.
The Domestics Art Show will open its doors on Thursday as well and will be inviting guests through Sunday during the same hours as the fair.
Beer gardens and food trucks will be available at the fairgrounds during their open hours.
The KCRA Rodeo program will traditionally start with the SMILE Services parade on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Kid's Rodeo will be Friday at 6.30 p.m.
Thursday will also see the Rodeo Queen contest – something that Estevan hasn't had for many years. (To meet the contestants, see Page A?).
The main rodeo program will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday will also see the cabaret kicking off at 9 p.m.
EEA president Crystal Ross said their entries for the rodeo are way up this year.
"We have approximately 13 bull riders as of right now if nobody gets hurt at the rodeo before ours or in a different event. We have multiple ropers and barrel racers and multiple peewees and juniors. I can't give an exact number of contestants, but I do know that we are triple what we were last year," Ross said.
"It's going to be an outstanding family rodeo and it's fun, it's interactive and those families stay all weekend and support our community so it's going to be just perfect for Estevan."
Everything is coming together quickly, but to have the days go smoothly the EEA still needs more volunteers to step forward.
"We need lots of volunteers for the gate yet," Ross said. "They can call me directly at 306-421-5105, and I will find them a spot. We need lots of gate volunteers for sure."
Bringing together two big summer community events is a big job, so for this edition, the EEA decided to stick to time-proven entertainment and see how it goes, then probably start bringing in something new.
"It hasn't been done in over 20 years. So, we've had to redo the entire roadmap as to what needs to be done, what has to get done, what's going to happen and how it's going to look. We don't know that until those four days are over. And then we can look forward to 2023 and make adjustments, changes or additions. [We need to] just feel it out, because we really don't know what it's all going to look like. We have a picture in our head, but it has to happen before we know if it's going to come to fruition or not," Ross said.
"[For this year] we're just sticking with what we know so that we don't make mistakes or try to do too much and not have enough experience with how the four days are going to look. But we thought we would just do what we know how to do and make it the best we can make it and then in 2023, maybe we can add quite a few extra things."
Most major preparations are completed now, and the EEA is setting everything up in hopes the community will be there to enjoy the events and support their initiative.
"It's happening and it's going to be phenomenal," Ross said.
Cash admission at the gate is $5 on Thursday and Friday for adults, while kids are free; and $15 for adults, $10 for students, and five and under are free on Saturday and Sunday. Midway bracelets are separate. The EEA has no control over their cost, and are $50 for any one-day bracelet.