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Energy City Ex. brought lots of fun to thousands in Estevan

This year's event had lots of attractions for the public to enjoy.
The midway had lots of rides for people to enjoy at the Energy City Ex.

ESTEVAN - The Energy City Ex. brought three days of thrills to Estevan.

The third annual event was held from June 14-16 at the Estevan Exhibition Association's (EEA) grounds. The midway, supplied by West Coast Amusements, and the KCRA rodeo stop were once again big drawing cards, offering a lot for people of all ages.

The midway featured an abundance of rides, carnival games and food booths. Local vendors were also satisfying patrons' hunger throughout the three days.

Attendance numbers were not available for the event as of Monday afternoon, but EEA president Crystal Ross was pleased with the number of people who passed through the gates.

The weather did cause some problems. There was a thunderstorm that passed through the Estevan area during the SMILE Services Estevan Parade on Friday evening, but crowds were good Friday once the skies cleared.

A strong thunderstorm plowed through the Estevan area on Saturday night, but the evening rodeo performance was already finished, and the rodeo cabaret featuring musician Tyler Lewis was held indoors.

"Saturday was definitely the busiest day because the weather was nice, and everything was amazing until the storm decided it wanted to roll in," said Ross.

She noted a storm chaser was in the Estevan area on Saturday and updated the EEA regularly about what was happening. When the threat of dangerous weather was lifted, the EEA carried on.

Strong winds on Sunday meant that West Coast Amusements had to shut down the rides that were high off the ground.

For the first time, an agricultural pavilion was set up in the Wylie-Mitchell building with interactive displays. The Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association brought its cow dome. The Saskatchewan Association of Agricultural Societies and Exhibitions had multiple displays, and Ag in the Classroom also had a presence.

"We've had lots of companies and associations that said they want to be involved," said Ross. "That was an addition that's been near and dear to my heart, personally, and to see it finally come to fruition this year was unbelievably awesome."

Moo Bayliss, a nine-year-old steer who weighs 2,340 pounds, was in attendance, and lots of people dropped by to meet him.

Ross said there will be better signage for the pavilion next year. 

A quilt show was set up in the EEA's building.

Other highlights from the weekend included the auctioning off of Jaycee Ross' 4-H steer that generated more than $53,000 for the Estevan MRI campaign, the crowning of Desirae Cleveland as this year's rodeo queen, and the King of the Prairies open steer and heifer jackpot.

Camping capacity was extended for the rodeo contestants, and Ross said the EEA received a lot of compliments.

"That was a real highlight for me, because our board has worked so hard on this property. The midway people were commenting. The contestants were commenting. Even people that were coming through the gates were commenting about how amazing this place looks," said Ross.

She was pleased with how the co-ordination worked on Saturday with the Estevan Comprehensive School, since the school's grad ceremonies were held that day, and the work that went into eliminating problems paid off.

"We think it went beautifully, and our partnership with the city and the high school, that was just well done. We had planned for it to happen, and we hope that there were no major glitches on their end," said Ross.

She expressed gratitude to the sponsors, the volunteers, the EEA's board and the event's committee heads for making the event possible.

"It's unbelievable how we rally to get this massive event accomplished," said Ross, who noted that while she sits as the EEA president, she is just one person. 

Please see pages A14 for more on the rodeo, A16 for an article on the rodeo queen, and A17 for more on the parade.