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Whoop Up Days brings fun for the whole family

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Get your cowboy boots shined up and straighten that hat because Whoop Up Days is coming up Aug, 21-25 with all kinds of family fun, live music, bucking and barrels and lots more.Exhibition Park marketing  manager Doug Kryzanowski is excited about this year’s Whoop up Days. Photo by Richard Amery
“It begins on Tuesday, Aug, 21 with the parade. We already have 105 entries. There is room for 125. This year, it’s a salute  to the Rotary Clubs of Lethbridge who celebrate 100 years. There are five of them, so we‘ll have five parade marshalls,” said Exhibition Park marketing  manager Doug Kryzanowski, adding there are also more community barbecues and breakfasts this year, which are listed in the  Whoop Up days guide, which was listed in the Lethbridge Herald, Friday, Aug. 10 as well as in other southern Alberta.
“ We have 35 breakfasts and barbecues and that’s only the ones who told us about  them. Usually we have about 30, so that‘s 20 per cent more,” he continued.
 The Sheepdogs open an excellent musical line up for Whoop Up Days on Tuesday, Aug. 21 with a special ticketed event. Tickets are $35 in advance from Gas King and $45 at the gate.

 Concerts by country band the Road Hammers, (Aug. 22), Prism  (Aug. 23), Harlequin (Aug. 24) and rockers  Lee Aaron and Helix on Saturday, Aug. 25 are included with gate admission.
There will be live entertainment in the Pendleton Saloon in heritage hall including one hit wonder music trivia on Wednesday with DJ-B entertainment, live name that tune with Riff Raff on Friday and performances by country rock band  the Ryan Lindsay Band on Thursday and Saturday.

 There won’t be any local opening acts on the main stage concerts, which begin at 8 p.m each night.
“We‘ve had local opening acts in the past and they have done well. so it isn’t a slap at them, but we wanted to shake things up this year,” Kryzanowski continued.
 The other big change is the family stage has been moved indoors  into  the south Pavilion, where Alan Sands will be performing a magic show as well as a hypnotism show.
Also inside is a marketplace trade show and  this year Whoop Up Days has added an innovation pavilion featuring robotics demos, Police K9 dog demos, science experiments with the Lethbridge public library, integral hockey and a 3D printing demonstration.

The Sheepdogs return to play Whoop Up Days, Aug. 21. Photo by Richard Amery
 Outside the midway is back with at least 38 rides including the new ride “Frenzy.”
“ That is a wild one,” Kryzanowski said.
Other attractions outside include  food trucks, cowboy poet/trick roper Joel and Jasper the steer and a flying trapeze show.
 Tipi Village has been expanded to a multi-cultural community park. For the kids, there will be  an interactive bubble station and inflatable bouncers and much more.
Also included in gate admission is a Canada vs. U.S. bucking and barrels featuring 16 Canadian and 16 American professional calibre competitors competing in  a pro challenge for prize money in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding and barrel racing, Aug. 23-25.

“ They’re competing for prize money, not points to go on to the national finals rodeo. It will be the same four (Four from each country) in each event each night, with prizes each night and a winner take all on Saturday,” Kryzanowski continued, adding he did some heavy advertising on Montana radio stations to get American competitors. Some of the highlights include Helena , Montana based bareback rider Chase Erickson who was last year’s bucking and barrels champion, two time CFR qualifying bareback rider Danton Bertsch from Estena, Saskatchewan; and 2017 Canadian novice bareback champion Connor Hamiliton from Denton, Texas.

In Saddle Bronc, some of the highlights include three time Canadian Champion and Calgary Stampede  $100,000 champion Dustin Flundra from Pincher Creek. There are some excellent bullriders including  twelfth and  thirteenth  ranked Canadian  bullriders, Austin Nash from Eckville and Dawson Creek’s Jacob Gardner. 


Farewell show for Makiisma among this week’s highlights

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Whoop Up Days is coming, which means lots of music in Exhibition Park will be happening, but there is a lot happening before that.A farewell show for Megan Brown is at the Slice, Aug. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
On Thursday, Aug. 16, Terrific Kids Arts Collective present Winnipeg noise rock/post punk band  Pleasure Dens, who will be performing with  Chief Mountain and Cope at the old Firehall at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

On the weekend there are plenty of shows. Say goodbye to local musician Megan Brown, who is on the road again. Her band Makiisma and Tyson Borsboom play the Slice Aug. 17. Ghost Woman, Birch Barks and Brenna Lowrie provide indie rock at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 17 as well.

Over at the Casino, the Mark Hall Band will be playing country music.
 There will be more country music at the Slice, Aug 18 with George Arsene and Corduroy Brown.


Carolyn Mark bringing Ragtag Misfits to Lethbridge

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The ever bubbly and talented Carolyn Mark returns to Lethbridge on Tuesday, Aug 21 to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge with old friend Kris Demeanor and new friends Shirley Gnome and Manitoba based, Germany based “Old Seed” as part of the  Ragtag Misfits Tour.

Carolyn Mark returns to Lethbridge with Kris Demeanor, Shirley Gnome and Old Seed, Aug. 21. Photo by Richard Amery
“ I’ve never toured with them before. I’ve toured a lot with Kris, but Shirley Gnome is a new friend and so is Old Seed. But we’re taking two separate cars just in case we don’t get along,” Mark giggled from Winnipeg where she is getting ready to play the Times Changed in Winnipeg with Kris Demeanor and Geoff Berner before heading to the Trout Forest music Festival north-east of Kenora, Ontario.

“ It‘s a like south Country Fair. It is about the same size and has a a similar vibe, except it is next to a lake,” she said, adding Berner won’t be coming  to Lethbridge with them.

“He’s flying home to spend time with family,”she said, adding she is excited to play with Shirley Gnome.
“I met her at Artswells. And I drove from Vancouver to Victoria with her. She’s hilarious.  I went to her show in Victoria and I didn’t take my eyes off her.  All her songs are just filthy. After her show she said to me ‘I guess Victoria people don’t get jokes.’ I said ‘It’s because you’re such a beautiful singer, they were listening to that,” Mark continued.


LEMF 2018 celebrates electronic music

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Get ready to let your “freak flag fly,” at LEMF, Aug. 18 in Galt Gardens.David Fritz aka Marty Funkhauser is excited about the seventh annual LEMF in Galt Gardens, Aug. 18. photo by Richard Amery
If you enjoy electronica music, the seventh annual LEMF  (Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival) is the place to be.

“There’s people in colourful costumes. It’s a place to make a total ass of yourself in a non judgemental atmosphere. It‘s a place to let your freak flag fly,” said organizer David Fritz aka Marty Funkhauser when he is on stage. He noted the event attracted 4,500 people attending throughout the day and he is hoping for more this year with five headlining acts.
“We have five headliners this year, two from New Zealand (Cheshire and Sammy Senior), one from Australia (Slynk), one from the U.S (Joe Nice) and one from Canada (Wood N Soo),” he continued.

“Having five headliners is unusual for us, but everything just seemed to work out this year, he said, adding their performances will be staggered throughout the day, so people will be able to catch all of their sets.

“This will be Cheshire’s first tour of Canada. He‘s beginning it here,” he said.

“He plays glitch funk music, but he also plays live saxophone over top of it and he does some scratching as well,” he said.

“Wood N Soo play multi-genre soul dub and  electronica. There are two of them they play a two by four set which is four turntables and two mixers,” he continued.
“Joe Nice is a dub step guy. He’s one of the godfathers of dub step,” he said adding He is one of the few DJs still using vinyl.

“Sammy Senior plays ghetto funk and glitch hop. Slynk plays glitch hop and most kinds of funk,” he continued.

Fritz will be one of 30 DJs performing on three stages throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.


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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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