The midway won't be returning to this year's Strathmore Stampede, but don't let that stop you from having a great time on the grounds! While the midway will be missed, there will be more than enough to replace it.

While many people like the midway, CEO and General Manager of Strathmore Ag Society Ryan Schmidt explains that it didn't return since he was worried that it could possibly ruin the days of some visitors and their families.

"We understand that people are a little disappointed that we won't have a midway in town this year, and we're disappointed too. But unfortunately the midway that we had over the last few years, there were severe customer service issues associated with it, including very abusive behaviour of guests. It's just not something we wanted to see at a wonderful family event like Strathmore Stampede."

To make up for the loss of the midway, Schmidt explains that there will be no shortage of entertainment. With music, we'll be getting several great performers like the James Barker Band, Garrett Gregory, Chris Leblanc, Shannon Smith and Joel Ostrom and the Tin Star Band! Chris Leblanc will also be at the cabaret.

As for activities, the midway area will be seeing a ton of new activities, including but not limited to Extreme Dogs, Can Am wrestling, Kisling Farms petting zoo, and the mechanical bull. On top of that, Gord Stewart will be putting on a whole heritage agricultural zone with traditional agricultural activities, and Cobbs Adventure Park will be bringing games and activities.

"There'll be a ton of stuff to keep the family busy all day at the grounds, even if you are not at the rodeo or the chuckwagon races."

With the wide variety of new activities coming, Schmidt is excited for the unique atmosphere that will be at this Stampede.

"There's going to be a bit of the agricultural fair small town fair feel to it, its really nice. I hope people come and check it out and experience that. Come on down this year and check it out because there is a lot of unique activities and I think it'll more than replace the midway of the past."

Even beyond all the activities, the Stampede will also have their beloved tradeshow. This time, it'll be brought right up to the very front entrance.

Tickets have been selling like crazy, so if you want to secure a seat for the rodeo, Schmidt says you should do it soon.

"Year to date we are up over 20% against the last equivalent year. Against 2019, which was also a record turnout, we're up over 20%. There is a lot of people buying tickets for Strathmore Stampede so if you want some for a specific time or show please go get them now because its guaranteed that some of them will be sold out early."

If you're interested in being a part of the Stampede, Schmidt hopes to see you volunteer! So far, he says the community has really stepped up, but more is always extremely helpful.

"The volunteer response has been tremendous this year. We need 400 volunteers from the community to run this event, and people are so generous with their time. We try to make sure they're well fed and have a good time and a bunch of laughs when they're there. We are still looking for volunteers in a few key positions, so if anybody is out there and thinking of volunteering please call the office and we'll get you set up."

He added that this year's Stampede will also have a bag check at the entrance for everyone's safety, and no weapons of any kind will be allowed on the grounds.

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