Time to dig out the fancy hats!
On Sunday, July 25 the first Hats, Horses & Brunch Day at The Horses At Evergreen Park is planed for J.D.A. Raceway.
And when you're wearing a fancy hat it's always good if you can enjoy a fancy meal with it. And that's just what the chefs at Evergreen are cooking up.
There will be a benedict station, beef station, breakfast station, prawn station and a pastry station on that day. Starts at 10:30 a.m. and goes to 12:30 p.m. Everyone who purchases a brunch ticket will have their name put into a draw for a $250 gift card at Marlin Travel.
Cost is $29 for adults, $27 for seniors and $15 for children 12 and under. You can view the menu and order online here or purchase tickets at the races in the MNP Concourse or from the receptionist at the TARA Centre at Evergreen Park during business hours.
The day is all part of a Stay, Play and Fly Away promotion being put on by the Evergreen Park Campground (McGoverns).
The campground has teamed up with 2Day Radio, which will be doing contests over the next two weeks with prizes including more travel vouchers at Marlin Travel, free brunches and gift cards at the Wild Horse Casino and lounge as well as free camping at the campground.
Visitors can stay in the campground (click here to reserve a spot), play and enjoy the brunch and races and, if you're lucky, fly away with a $250 gift card from Marlin Travel through the radio promotion.
The person chosen as best dressed at Hats, Horses & Brunch will receive a $250 Marlin Travel gift card.
Foster's Agri-World, the VIP Experience sponsor for the day, is also providing some prizing.
The Horses At Evergreen Park go Saturdays and Sundays with a 1:15 p.m. post time. There were to be races Friday, July 23 and 30, but those have been cancelled.
Feature events in August include Bacon Fest on Sunday the 8th; the GPRTA Stakes and Dino Derby on Sunday, August 22 and Mr. Mike's Paint The Park Purple - Race For The Cure on Sunday, August 29 to wrap up the season.
There is no admission fee to watch the races. There is a beverage tent available on lots of room for social distancing and two smoking areas. The MNP Pony Express Mobile Concession is located at the north end of the grandstand.
Wild Horse Casino & Lounge (10 a.m. - a.m.) and the Pines Family Restaurant (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.) are part of the racing complex, which also includes the MNP Concourse where betting stations are located.
Fans have the option of betting in person at the betting stations or doing so online through HPIBet or ExpressBet.
Holloway Lodging Corporation is now the preferred hospitality provider for Evergreen Park.
Holloway and Evergreen Park signed an agreement recently that will begin, what both feel, will be a great partnership moving forward.
“Evergreen Park is excited to announce its partnership with Holloway Lodging Corp, as its preferred hotel (hospitality) provider,” said Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman. “Holloway Lodging Corp has four very well-known and respected Grande Prairie hotel properties that will serve well the many visitors who attend Evergreen Park’s year-round events and activities.”
Evergreen Park visitors are being encouraged to stay at one of the four Holloway Lodging Corporation facilities in Grande Prairie – Holiday Inn & Suites, Best Western Hotel & Suites, Quality Inn & Suites and Super 8.
“Holloway Lodging Corp is extremely pleased with our long-term relationship with Evergreen Park,” said Holloway Chief Operating Officer Felix Seiler. “Our partnership with this great all-year round facility fits us perfectly and we look forward to be the preferred hospitality provider.
“Our four Grande Prairie hotels are well known for their service and great staff and we welcome all visitors to the many events and functions at Evergreen Park.”
Guests that stay at one of the four hotels will receive a discount at the Wild Horse Casino & Lounge and Pines Family Restaurant when they visit the Park.
Evergreen Park will also serve as the meeting and events venue for the Holloway hotels if their facilities are booked or not able to handle larger events that could be facilitated in the TARA Centre or other Evergreen Park buildings.
Holloway and the Park will be creating various Stay & Play promotions with the idea that visitors stay at Holloway hotels and come out to the Park to play – whether it be to watch horse racing; take a spin on the slots in the casino; hike on the Evergreen Ridge trails; take part in a baseball or archery tournament; compete in horse events through gymkhana and the local horse club; try out the community disc golf course; or take in an outdoor movie at Grande Sunset Theatre.
Anyone taking part in an event at the Park will be offered a discount at all four hotels.
Holloway Lodging Corporation is a Canadian-owned hotel company specializing in operating select and limited service hotels in secondary, tertiary and suburban markets across Canada.
Evergreen Park, under the umbrella of the Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society, is a registered charitable non-profit. The Ag Society has been a part of the Grande Prairie landscape since 1911.
The Horses At Evergreen Park Stakes Schedule and the Stall Application form for 2021 have been released by Racing Manager Pat Hill.
Racing kicks off on July 10 and some of the feature races over the summer are the Grande Prairie Sprint, ACTRA Alberta Bred Stakes, GP Distance, John Deere Juvenile Challenge, Adequan Distaff, GP Distaff, Marathon Series, Spring Series, Sales Stakes Futurity, Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association Stakes and the Mr. Mike's Steakhouse Paint The Park Purple Stakes.
JDA Raceway at Gordon Badger Stadium will be hosting 18 race days in 2021- three more than in 2020. Racing will be held on two Fridays (July 23 and 30), eight Saturdays and eight Sundays. Post time Fridays is 5:15 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 1:15 p.m.
Racing fans are asked to check the news in regards to attendance restrictions for outdoor events as those numbers could change as the summer racing season approaches. For the complete summer racing schedule click here.
There will not be a Foster's Peace Country Classic Agri-Show in 2021.
The 36th edition that was set for March 11 to 13 has been cancelled.
Evergreen Park general manager Dan Gorman says this is because of COVID-19.
“There’s just too much going on, still too many cases and too many restrictions, understandably so, that would really preclude us from having a significant crowd come in and also make it difficult for a lot of our vendors to come up from down south and other areas.”
He adds at this time, there is nothing planned to take its place.
“We’ll play that by ear. If any real, real small things come in, then we’ll look at that. There is still a possibility that the bull sale might go ahead in the Lewis Hawkes (Pavilion), but we’ll know about that as we get closer.”
Gorman adds planning is already underway for the 2022 edition.
The 2020 edition was cancelled after Day 1 because of the unfolding pandemic.
- by Curtis Galbraith, Everything GP
Grande Prairie’s Nellie Pigeau was the busiest trainer at The Horses At Evergreen Park at JDA Raceway this summer.
She was also the winningest.
Fifty-one times Pigeau watched horses she trains leave the gates and 13 times they won; 12 times they finished second; and 10 times they ended up third. That means 69% of the time they were a win, place or show and 25% of her starts were victories. CLICK HER FOR COMPLETE STORY
There were lots of happy people at JDA Raceway at Evergreen Park on the weekend, but likely none more delighted than Don Danard, Don Knight and Chuck Stojan.
Those three were the winners of the biggest races on Days 11 and 12 of the 14-day season of The Horses At Evergreen Park. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
The Horses At Evergreen Park returned to JDA Raceway at Evergreen Park on the weekend
It opened with six races on Saturday and continued Sunday with seven races.
All of the races are live-streamed and betting is available online through Expressbet and HPI Bet. Click on the logo to choose the link to the betting service you prefer.
The race meet continues until Sunday, August 23.
A limited number of spectators are allowed as the race meet opens. Click on the banner above to order your free tickets online for the weekend races.
Race days are Saturdays and Sundays between July 11 with one Friday on the schedule – July 31. All of the Saturday-Sunday races will have a 1:15 p.m. first post time while the July 31 post will be 5:15 p.m.
Also, with AHS Phase 2 protocols now in place Evergreen Park will be able to offer its facilities for weddings - both outdoor and inside. The Park has a variety of buildings able to support with ease the maximum attendance allowed by AHS.
Meeting rooms, again with a large-capacity availability, are also available for companies and others.
The Evergreen Park TARA Centre Kitchen, as restaurants around the city have opened, is now back to its normal outside and inside catering program. Anyone interested in having their event catered, whether it is at their building or the TARA Centre, can phone 780-532-3279 or email email@example.com to order or go online here to place an order.
Other parts of the Park are also open including the archery range and horse club venues – all following AHS guidelines.
The Grande Sunset Theatre is offering weekend outdoor movies from the TARA Centre Parking Lot A all summer long. A permanent 40-foot screen was erected in the lot and up to 700 vehicles can be accommodated.
The slot machines, VLTs and off track betting kiosks are all open at the Evergreen Park Casino.
And the Casino Restaurant as well as the Pines Family Restaurant are welcoming customers as well at JDA Raceway.
There are eight screens showing races from across North America, two betting kiosks and race track programs for those who like to play the ponies
Temperature checks are in effect and face masks will be mandatory for all Casino slot/VLT customers. Hand sanitizers are available at the entrance/exit. All Alberta Health Services safety protocols are in place in both the Casino and restaurants. Social distancing is in effect in the Casino and restaurants (masks not mandatory) so all guests can feel safe when they play the slots or sit in the restaurants and enjoy a meal.
Check out the new Casino restaurant menu here.
The Horses At Evergreen Park has a new race secretary.
Jason Teague is now responsible for putting together the entries for the 15-day summer season of pari-mutuel horse racing at JDA Raceway.
Teague was born and raised in Edmonton, where he still resides. He and his wife, Christian, have two children – Braden and Jaleigh.
The sport has been part of his life for decades.
“I was introduced to horse racing over 40 years ago when my parents, Ruth and Chester, owned and raced horses,” he says. “I bought my first horse in 1993.”
He raced and bred horses until taking a racing officials’ position at Northlands Park in Edmonton in 1999.
“I started out as the clerk of scales and patrol judge until 2001 when I took on the position of paddock judge and assistant race secretary,” he says.
His first race secretary role was in 2009 at Northlands.
“I became the race secretary at Northlands park for the thoroughbreds and in 2011 I also became the race secretary for the Standardbreds,” he says. “I worked at Northlands Park until December of 2018 when racing ended after a lengthy history at Northlands.
In 2016, he was elected into the Jockey Club of Canada, “which I consider a great honor”.
He loves the work.
“Horse racing is my passion and I enjoy the people involved. The long hours of work that comes along with the job is not for everyone, but when it is your passion its worth it. Even after these many years I continue to learn something new every day.”
The job, in some ways, is like being a referee. Tough decisions have to be made and you aren’t going to please everyone.
“If I have learned one thing in this industry, as much as you want to you cannot make everyone happy.”
Teague says he would like to thank Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman and Racing Manager Pat Hill for the opportunity to come to Evergreen Park and to do “something I love”.
Racing fans have an opportunity to check out Teague’s work on entries when The Horses At Evergreen Park continue this Saturday and Sunday at JDA Raceway with 1:15 p.m. posts each day. Racing continues until Sunday, August 23 every Saturday and Sunday with the exception of a Friday, July 31 race card at 5:15 p.m.
Admission is free (visit www.evergreenpark.ca to get tickets, but there will be some walk-up available) and masks are mandatory.
If you are unable to attend there is a Lifestream of the racing available through the Park website and you can also sign up to bet online through Xpressbet.com and HPIbet.com.
All of the races will also be shown on the screens in the Evergreen Park Casino. There are betting kiosks in the Casino.
Horse racing fans in the Peace Country, again in 2020, will be able to watch some of Canada’s best quarter horses compete on JDA Raceway during The Horses At Evergreen Park in July and August.
The Bank of America Challenge Championships has returned with five Canadian championship events again this year. Evergreen Park is the only race track in Canada taking part in the program. Other regionals are in the United States, Mexico and Brazil.
With $140,000 in purse money from the five races on JDA Raceway and a chance to compete in the championship finals in Albuquerque, New Mexico – and hundreds of thousands of dollars in purse money – Evergreen Park will be hosting some high-quality quarter horses.
Since the Bank of America Challenge Championship began in 1993, the program has distributed more than $65 million to quarter horse breeders and owners.
The program's primary focus is on horses three years old and older. When the Challenge began in 1993, it was founded with the intention to help owners, trainers and horses reap the rewards of longer racing careers. Only a small percentage of quarter horses are still stakes-calibre beyond the age of four, but those that have not been retired or transferred to the breeding sheds have become some of the biggest superstars in racing.
Once a horse enrolls into the Racing Challenge program, it is eligible to participate in any Challenge Championship race offered.
The five divisions of the B of A Challenge Championship program cover a wide spectrum of competition:
In 2019 Grande Prairie’s Chuck Stojan won three of them – Geitithot (Adequan), True Copy (Distaff) and Stripsteak (B of A Challenge)– win Canadian titles and advance to the championship in New Mexico. Stojan was also selected as the Owner Of The Year at the finale.
Painted Wagon, owned by Bucky Stockwell, won the John Deere Challenge in Grande Prairie and Gone To Be Bright, owned by Gonetothebrightside Syndicate, took the Distance Challenge.
This program is not only a boost for the local race program, but for quarter horses across Alberta and Western Canada.
“The Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association is trying to do everything they can to work with all tracks to get the best quarter horse racing here and staying in Alberta,” said Evergreen Park Racing Manager Pat Hill. “These races help and support quarter horse associations in both the U.S. and Canada.”
The JDA Raceway track has one of the highest percentages of quarter horse races in Canada where both quarter horses and thoroughbreds race on the same track.
“We usually like to do a third of our purse structure to run quarter horses racing … and this includes the Challenge races,” said Hill. “Our great track is one of the reasons these important quarter horse races are featured here. Having these races helps enhance the barn population.”
The Downs At Albuquerque is hosting the champion finals Oct. 24 for the second year in a row this fall.
“We commend the people behind The Downs at Albuquerque on their deep commitment to the sport of quarter horse racing,” said American Quarter Horse Racing Association Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “They have undertaken a significant task in renovating this historic racetrack, supporting integrity measures and making the Challenge Championships a truly special event.
“If you've not been to Albuquerque, it is a wonderful holiday destination, and The Downs is a great racetrack to enjoy, as it showcases one of the greatest nights in sport,” she added.
Two of the regional championships at JDA Raceway will be in July and three will be in August.
To view the Challenge complete schedule click here.
The racing season begins on JDA Raceway on July 11 and continues weekend until the final day of racing August 30. Here is the schedule.
In between there’s a lot of stuff going on at the 35th annual Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show March 12-14 at Evergreen Park. And it’s all free admission!
Click on the Show logo to the right for a complete list of days and times for all events.
The pancake breakfast, free to the public, starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday in the foyer of the TARA Centre.
And at 10 a.m. the big Show gets underway. It goes 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Concessions will be open in the TARA Centre and Drysdale Centre all three days. City of Grande Prairie is the Thursday Day Sponsor; ATB is the Friday Day Sponsor; and William Joseph Communications is the Saturday Day Sponsor.
It is the largest agricultural show of its kind in northwestern Alberta and one of the largest in western Canada. Click on Events Schedule, Horse Program Schedule or Speaker Schedule for detailed information on those events.
Hundreds of exhibitors will be on site both inside and outside the TARA Centre- which is also being used for speaking seminars all three day and exhibitors filling Evaskevich Hall, NuVista Energy and Salons C & D and the hallway in the MD of Greenview North Wing. The MD of Greenview North Wing is also where the annual Peace Crafts & Creations Show & Sale will be held all three days of the Show.
The foyer of the TARA Centre is the location of the Michener Allen Bids From Kids Auction starting on Saturday at 1 p.m. On the same day, at 11 a.m. in the IPAC Room, there will be an auctioneer class put on by Michener Allen. Children can get “cash” to bid on auction items by taking a Food Bank item to the ATB booth in Evaskevich Hall on Saturday before the auction.
The GP Safe Communities Kidz Zone will be set up outside and inside Keddie’s Korner in the TARA Centre foyer all three days of the show. There will be farm safety demonstrations for the youngsters.
Also, in the Kidz Zone, will be Trinity Body Art doing face painting all three days of the Show – for a minimal fee.
While the TARA Centre is the focal point of the show, it is one of several venues at Evergreen Park used during the Agri-Show.
Both the Drysdale Centre and Lewis Hawkes Pavilion will be hosting major events including the Northern Classic Bull Sale on Friday at 1 p.m. and the Keddie's Horse Program and Petting Zoo all three days and the Country Junction Feeds Youth Livestock events on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
Clarkson Hall, newly-renovated thanks in part to a Canada 150 grant, will be where the County of Grande Prairie Farm Family of the Year is celebrated on Friday with a banquet for about 500. The County Farm Family Luncheon will be taking place in the Kin Club Room in the TARA Centre on the same day.
The Wanham Plowing Match Thunder In The Park II Skijoring winds things up. Skijoring features skiers and snowboards being pulled behind horses, over jumps and around a race circuit. It starts at 6:30 p.m. under the lights at JDA Raceway and there is no admission charge.
Adults who would like a bite, beer and a bet can visit the Evergreen Park Casino during the Show. It is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. The Pines Family Restaurant will also be open during Show hours. It is located in the Gordon Badger Stadium, beside the casino.
“Tradition, community spirit, and the opportunity to keep abreast of new technology – these are at the heart of the appeal agricultural exhibitions have long held for Alberta’s rural communities.
“This show presents a tremendous variety of displays and exhibits, and provides information on all aspects of farming and rural life. There truly is something for everyone at the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show.”
Those words were spoken by Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture LeRoy Fjordbotten just before the first Agri-Show in 1986. They still apply today as we are about to celebrate the 35th Agri-Show at Evergreen Park.
Whether you are a farmer looking to talk to manufacturers and distributors; want to sit in on a seminar to learn more about some aspect of the agricultural industry; or are an urban family looking to experience a taste of rural life the Agri-Show is the place to be.
The Horses At Evergreen Park will be running over 21 days in 2020.
The two-month race season at J.D.A. Raceway at Evergreen Park will begin Saturday, July 11 and conclude on Sunday, August 30.
There are some changes for 2020.
Racing will be mainly Saturdays and Sundays only in July (with the exception being Friday, July 31) and then switch to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for all of August.
There has also been a slight change in post time on Saturdays in July. First post for every Saturday race in July, as well as Fridays and Saturdays in August, will be 6 p.m. First post on all Sundays will remain 1 p.m. as it has in the past.
Click here to view the schedule.
“This creates more of a consistency,” said Evergreen Park Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon of the post time and day changes. “In the past we had started with a 6:30 p.m. post for the first month or so on the non-Sundays and switched over to 6 p.m. to ensure we weren’t running into darkness later in the summer, but now those Fridays and Saturdays will start at the same time all racing season.”
The fact the horse population has proven to be a little larger in August also helped with the decision to go three days per weekend that month.
Last year The Horses At Evergreen Park introduced several new initiatives – including the Wiener Dog Derby, Dino Derby, an honorary owner program for children, photo contest, art show to benefit injured jockeys, bacon fest, kid’s pick contest and a big hat contest – to go along with other events like the Alberta Derby, Mr. Mike’s Paint the Park Purple, Evergreen Park Racing Club and 4H Day that had been established for several years.
“We formed a racing committee and they did a great job getting these events off the ground,” said Moon. “The committee will be meeting early in the new year and there are some new ideas for 2020 that will be tossed about so, hopefully, we will be keeping most of last year’s first-time events and adding some new things to the mix for next July and August.”
Click here to see a review of the 2019 highlighted events.
Evergreen Park has a variety of sponsorships available for the horse racing season. For information contact Moon at 780-532-3279.
“Evergreen Park is the only venue in the Peace Country that offers live and off-track horse racing,” said Moon. “The Evergreen Park Casino & Restaurant has several screens, two betting kiosks and programs for racing across North America. We welcome everyone to come out and give off-track betting a try and then experience the live racing in July and August.”
The Evergreen Park Casino & Restaurant is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Evergreen Park just ended a busy Christmas schedule highlighted by the Festival of Trees, Northern Spirit Light Show, Farmer’s Market Christmas Craft Sale & Show, the Evergreen Park Multi-Office Christmas Party and many other Christmas parties hosted in Park facilities like the TARA Centre, Drysdale Centre, Evergreen Park Kids Zone and Oldtimer’s Cabin.
The Christmas break was a good time for Park staff to take a breather. And they’re going to need it because things are going to get busier again soon.
The Largest Wedding Show in the Peace Country highlights the January schedule. It goes on Sunday, January 26 in Evaskevich Hall in the TARA Centre.
Tickets are available online at www.evergreenpark.ca and they are non-refundable. Online tickets are available until midnight Saturday, Jan. 25 for $20 and then $25 after midnight. At the door $25 starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Children 12 and under are free and no advance ticket required.
There will be gift bags for brides and grooms; there is a licensed food and beverage lounge right inside the show; and free product samples and service demos.
There will be cash and carry deals on wedding dresses, jewellery, tiaras, wedding accessories and more; is a full menu canteen and a mother’s lounge; two fashion shows are planned – one at 11:30 a.m. and another at 2:30 p.m. – and there will be lots of prize draws throughout the day.
Next up is the annual Grande Prairie Petroleum Association STARS Hanger Dance, which goes Saturday, Feb. 1 in Evaskevich Hall in the TARA Centre.
The event goes from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and tickets are available by going to their website at firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 780-830-7000.
The annual McGoverns RV & Marine Show & Sale goes in Evaskevich Hall in the TARA Centre at Evergreen Park from Feb. 14-23.
Admission is free and all of the latest trailers, RVs, boats as well as equipment and supplies will be on display.
It goes Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday.
The Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce partners with the City of Grande Prairie; County of Grande Prairie; Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region; Farm Credit Canada; Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network; Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association; and the Municipal District of Greenview to host the annual Growing the North Conference – February 19-20 in the TARA Centre.
The Growing the North Conference is the largest economic development conference in Northwestern Alberta/Northeastern B.C.
The Game Country Archers are holding their annual indoor 3D shoot in the TARA Feb. 29 – March 1.
Those interested can pre-register at email@example.com
The largest event of its kind in northwestern Alberta, the Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show, goes March 12-14 at the Park.
It includes hundreds of exhibitors indoors and outdoors at the TARA Centre; the Peace Classic Bull Sale on the Friday, skijoring on Saturday, a kids auction on Saturday and a petting zoo all three days of the Show.
Back again for the third year in a row on Saturday, March 21 in Evaskevich Hall, NuVita Energy Salon and Salons C & D, is the Food & Beverage Expo. It includes dozens of exhibitors offering samples of food and beverages and goes from 5-10 p.m.
The Rising Above Hope Lives Banquet goes on Saturday, March 28 in the TARA Centre. it’s an annual fundraiser that has had great success at Evergreen Park.
Sports Expo – 3 to 5
Home & Garden Show – 17 to 19
NPBRA Spring Spectacular – 24 to 26
Crafts & Critters Show & Sale – 25
Peace Wapiti Academy Grad – 9
4-H Achievement Days – 9 and 10
Stompede – 27 to 31