Queen City Ex returning to Regina this summer

As Saskatchewan lifts restrictions brought on by the pandemic, more events are being planned for the summer, including the Queen City Ex.

Entire lineup of concerts and entertainment has already been booked

The beloved ride, The Zipper, is shown during the 2018 Queen City Ex. (CBC News)

The Queen City Ex is returning to Evraz Place in Regina this summer after getting cancelled last year due to COVID-19. 

There will be some restrictions in place, but the event will include midway rides and outdoor concerts.

Tim Reid, CEO and president of the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd., said the return of the Calgary Stampede helped pave the way for the return.

"We will have our midway provider coming to North America. Even though they will be quarantined for a period of two weeks prior to arriving, it means that our plans around the Queen City Ex going forward in August are going to happen," Reid said. 

Midway rides will return to the Queen City Ex during summer 2021. (Beverley Paul)

The entire lineup of concerts and entertainment has already been booked. Reid wouldn't reveal who the performers are, but he did give a hint: they're all Canadian. 

He said it's been difficult for venues to book U.S. artists due to quarantine restrictions, so a lot of talent that normally tours across North America is pushing plans to the late fall and winter. 

"I also think it's an opportunity for us to support some Canadian artists that haven't played a show in a year and a half and help that part of our music industry recover from COVID," Reid said.

More details around the Queen City Ex will be released in the coming months. 

Reid said the exhibition grounds are also preparing for the Roughriders to return to Mosaic Stadium this summer. 

Most restrictions in Saskatchewan are expected to be lifted by the end of July, as more eligible adults become vaccinated against COVID-19. 

There will be some restrictions in place, but the Queen City Ex will include midway rides and outdoor concerts. (Beverley Paul)

Throughout the pandemic, the exhibition grounds have housed a testing site for COVID-19 and a drive-thru immunization clinic.

Prior to the pandemic, the exhibition grounds attracted nearly four million visitors and employed almost 1,600 people Reid said.

In the coming months, as the parking lots clears of health-care workers, it will make room for the midway rides and Roughrider fans. 

Most importantly, it will bring the return of former staff who were let go during the pandemic. 

"At it's peak, we have 82 per cent of our workforce that weren't coming here on a daily basis. And those are people, and those are families and those are valued co-workers that truthfully haven't had a shift in a very long time," Reid said.


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