Right now is close to being one of my favourite times of year. People are taking to the streets to enjoy the warmth, and we're sitting right on the peak of festival season looking over the edge to a summer filled with excitement. In just a few weeks, one of the most fun and diverse attractions will be popping up in the form of the Red River Ex, and I think I can safely say that will officially mark the beginning of summer in the city. And good news: The 2014 advance discount ticket prices are exactly the same as last year, and are on sale now here, as well as at all Mac's and Sobey's locations.
The Ex always promises a cornucopia of entertainment for the whole family—where else will you find rides that'll knock the breath out of you, free concerts as well as extreme showdogs performing their little paws off?—and this year, there are over 45 new events and attractions over the 10 day span (June 13-22). Of course, there'll be rides for the thrill seekers as well as the slightly more faint of heart—the Ex hosts the world's largest travelling midway, and you'll find everything from family-friendly rides such as the China Dragon, mini-jets and Undersea Adventure to heart-stopping adrenaline-fests including the Cliffhanger, Niagara Falls Flume, Mega Drop, the Mach 3, and new for this year, the extreme Remix. If catching the air is too much for you, check out i-Flip, a brand new aerial thrill show, which is also free with admission: 25 minutes of action-packed aerial bungee, trampoline wall, dangling sphere thrills for you to marvel at from the safety of the sidelines.
Rides aren't the mane attraction (don't hit me): this year, you'll be able to watch a premier horse jumping competition, as well as get up close and personal with horses where experts and enthusiasts will be on hand to teach you all about these beautiful creatures. For animal lovers, Discovery Place is an absolute must-stop (and is completely free with gate admission). Check out the regulars (alpacas, chicks, ducks and more), and this year, come see the world's largest turkey for yourself, as well as exhibits including Pig Tales, the Parade of Cattle Breeds, and Honey Bees, where you can learn about the importance of these industries in our economy. Don't miss the second annual Continental Stock Dog Championship (June 20-22), where up to 50 dogs and their handlers will arrive from across Canada and the United States to compete in this prestigious event. And of course, no Ex experience is complete without taking in the EXtreme Dogs Show, just outside Discovery Place—see these talented canines show off their amazing agility to some of today's hottest hits. Seriously, these little guys have better moves than the Mister!
Another favourite for a warm summer day is strolling through the grounds, eating all the puffy pink balls of sugar and mini-donuts you can. But fear not: in addition to offering Midway fried favourites, they also offer healthy fare, too. Salads, donairs, noodles, wraps, and more, all loaded with fresh vegetables, will also be available—and a variety of talented local buskers will be performing in the area while you grab a bite! If you're there for the day, make sure to stay into the evening too—the night comes alive with fireworks, brilliantly lit carnival rides, and a free mainstage concert every night. This year features Gord Bamford, Down With Webster (who've collaborated with artists including Nicki Minaj, Carly Rae Jepson and Flo-Rida), Eddie Money and more, including what I'm sure will be a personal highlight: The Internet Cat Video Film Festival (June 18). Make sure you join me and dress up in your favourite feline-inspired attire (yes, it's totally happened before; I figured cats had string theory pretty much down when it came to dressing up for Yuri's Night at the Planetarium). I'm sure even Grumpy Cat will be happy you did.
For all the info on this year's Ex, visit their website here. Mark your calendars for this kickoff to summer: only 18 days to go!
Only in The Peg chronicles the adventures of the Peg family–Missus, Mister and Lil' Peg - as they discover everything there is to see and do in Winnipeg. Follow them on Twitter at @tourismwpg or visit them on Facebook. For even more info on Winnipeg, visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com.
Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay in the loop on the latest information, contests, and upcoming events!