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New events at the Red River Ex makes it better than ever! - The Canine Stars at last year's Red River Ex (Red River Ex)

The Canine Stars at last year's Red River Ex (Red River Ex)

By: Only in the PegJune 8, 2017 // Attractions, Family Fun, Festivals & Events, Live Music

While we may not be wizards, we’re certain that a combination of super cute animals (did someone say baby goats!), flashy midway rides, crazy culinary creations, all sorts of live music and events that range from high-flying dogs, to daredevil motorcyclists, to feeding butterflies, is a recipe for pure magic. 

Once a year in June, this sort of spectacular sorcery comes together for two weeks at Red River Exhibition Park, as the Red River Ex (aka The Ex) showcases a little bit of everything (actually, it’s more like a whole lot of something) for everyone. 

This year at The Ex (June 16 to 25), they have a ludicrous amount on offer. Advanced admission prices are just $10 (available at Giant Tiger, Safeway, Sobeys, Mac’s or redriverex.com), while you can also purchase, for $37, one ticket that will get you admission to the grounds plus “all-you-can-ride-midway-rides.” (There are also individual ride tickets, along with several other ticket options  you can find here.)

And how about those rides? The midway at The Ex features nearly 30 of them for big kids and adults, ranging from adrenaline pumping machines like the Mega Drop, Mach 3 and Pharaoh’s Fury, to the wet and wild Niagara Falls, and the classic Wave Swinger. For little ones, there are over 20 mini rides, including slides, two merry go rounds, and all manner of spinning numbers. As well, for your little ones, new to this year is the Inflatable Fun City, a Mario Kart-esque course were kids can drive carts through a large air filled setting (note: throwing of turtle shells is strongly discouraged). 

But on that note, animal lovers will fawn over all the furry creatures that you can find at The Ex. They have purebred dogs (Meet the Breeds), horses (including a show jumping event on June 17 and 19), petting zoos brimming with babies, and the crowd-pleasing Canine Stars – a dog show featuring the most athletic canines you’ve ever seen. On the species front, new to 2017 is a butterfly exhibition (where you’ll even get the chance to feed these four-winged wonders) and Animal Encounters, where you can meet all manner of mammal.

Of course, no exhibition would be complete without some gluttonous culinary offers, so bring your appetite and get ready to see various forms of food on sticks, delicious items that you had no idea could go into a deep fryer, and more ice cream creations than you thought possible. 

There’s also great community events that you can enter, including an arm wrestling tournament, art show, a hobby showcase and Senior Idol (for all you singers out there). As well, there will be military showcases by the Department of National Defence and the Highland Games (Sunday, June 18) – because everyone loves a good old fashion kilt-clad caber toss. 

Other new events for 2017 include the Moto Maniacs – a motorcycle daredevil show; the Firefit Challenge – a fitness competition featuring some of Winnipeg’s finest firefighters; and two fireworks shows to Celebrate Canada’s 150th (June 17 and 24). 

Finally, there is the live music – and with three stages this year, there certainly will be no shortage of that. For headliners on the Main Stage you have the legendary April Wine (June 18 at 8 p.m.), along with Canadian rockers The Glorious Sons (June 16 at 8 p.m.) and Canadian alt-pop duo USS, who are guaranteed to get you dancing (June 17 at 8 p.m.). 

There’s also a host of tribute bands, including Hotel California, Don’t Look Back: The Boston Experience, while Canadian country musician (and Juno nominee) Chad Brownlee will also be there, along with young Winnipeg pop outfit Panicland. 

Also new to 2017 is the Red Barn Stage, where you can catch local acts and various performers, all hosted by the hilarious Jon Ljungberg.

The Red River Ex is located at 3977 Portage Ave, and now features a brand new WEST entrance (with super fast access to the park) for just $5. Public transit is also available from Portage Avenue via east and west directions. The transit pick up and drop off is now located outside the WEST entrance. The last bus leaves at 1 am Monday to Saturday and 11:45 pm Sunday.

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