Westerner Park is celebrating their big birthday by profiling some of their favourite community organizations and long-standing partners. Here’s a look at the Red Deer Fish & Game Association, which has held its main fundraiser at Westerner Park for the past 18 years.
The Red Deer Sportsman & Outdoor Adventure Show is an annual consumer show that raises money for bursaries in wildlife biology studies and books for local schools and libraries. The club also maintains a wilderness area east of the city with two stocked ponds jumping with rainbow trout, indoor and outdoor range safety courses and a winning Jr. Shooters program.
The show, like the many of the activities on offer here, is a family affair. Organizer Jeff Chocholacek took up its management after his dad stepped down twelve years ago – which means even before he ran the show, he’d been around for a very long time. His most cherished memories are of the special animal guests his Dad brought in. There was that year Al Oeming of Alberta Game Farm brought his cheetahs and Jeff got his picture taken with the giant cats – or seeing the exotic tigers and movie star bears from Doug’s Zoo just down the road.
Westerner Park’s friendly staff matter a lot to Jeff, but for his event, it’s the sheer size of the park that lands it. As Central Alberta’s largest trade show facility, Westerner Park’s Parkland, Prairie and Stockmens Pavilions are plenty big for anything and everything outdoors. And I’m talking hot air balloon big.
Inside the pavilions, you’ll find 130 experts on everything from scuba to golf, trail rides on horseback to twisty roads on motorbike. You’ll find fellow quadders, happy campers and daydreamers far away on their next fishing and hunting trip with the crew. For sellers, it’s definitely the best place to show off their gear – the show has sold out exhibitor space for last five years.
Jeff is busy working with sponsors to cook up all the sweet door prizes for the 51st annual show on March 3, 4 & 5, 2017. So far, Jeff has secured a three-day salmon fishing trip for two at a BC lodge and a trip to Saskatchewan for Walleye and Pike – plus lots of outdoor equipment like binoculars and scopes. This year, children’s prizes include $500 worth of camping equipment, like a pup tent, sleeping bag and chairs – plus kids, there just might be some super cool animals.
We’re looking forward to another great show – hope to see you all at the Red Deer Sportsman & Outdoor Adventure Show March 3, 4 & 5, 2017!