The City of Brandon is planning a party to welcome WestJet.

The inaugural flight of WestJet's new regional carrier to Brandon will happen Sept. 3, kicking off daily non-stop flights between the western Manitoba city and Calgary, Alta.

WestJet announced in May that its Encore service would start landing at the Brandon airport this fall. The service aims to provide affordable flights in smaller markets.

The family-oriented party will happen at the Brandon Municipal Airport from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We’re inviting the public to come down … for some free entertainment, free refreshments, and to witness the very first touchdown of WestJet’s Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft in our city," said Mayor Shari Decter Hirst.

The party is planned for the north side of the Brandon Flying Club hangar, or inside the hangar if the weather is bad.

The free community event will feature, among other things, children’s entertainment and games,  free tours of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, and a  free hot dog and drink for everyone.

"Who doesn’t love watching a plane touch down and taxi down a runway?" said Brandon’s economic development director Sandy Trudel.

"We want our community to witness the excitement of the very first WestJet Encore touchdown in Brandon and celebrate with us, because it’s those very people who will help make this direct flight service a reality and it’s those very people who will help make Brandon’s WestJet service a success."