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West Coast Amusements celebrates 25 Years at Ponoka Stampede

The Ponoka Stampede midway opens on June 25 at 5:30 p.m.

West Coast Amusements (WCA) has been entertaining families at the Ponoka Stampede midway for 25 years and they show no sign of slowing down.

“I play 33 to 34 locations a season and there’s a few of them that have a special place in my heart and Ponoka is right on top of the list,” said WCA co-owner Robbie Hauser in a release. “I am super thankful to provide the midway there.”

The WCA started out as an animal circus, first with a lion and eventually monkeys and bears, said Hauser.

“My grandfather (Irvin R. “Bingo” Hauser) was born in Poland and immigrated when he was just under two years old.”

Hauser recalls being told that his dad was brought to Canada wearing only a modified potato sack as clothing.

Going to the fair every year was something Bingo loved and he eventually left home at the young age of 14.

“He was a pretty smart guy. He stayed out of trouble and saved his money and eventually got into animals,” said Hauser. That’s why WCA’s animal mascot is a lion.

Bingo used to do a show as a lion tamer putting his head in the lion’s mouth.

Hauser said WCA became a true family business. WCA now has four generations of entertainers running the show.

“We grew up on the show and travelled on the show.”

Hauser began working for WCA when he was 19, and three years in, they got the call to come to the Ponoka Stampede. 

"We worked hard to build trust with the Ponoka Stampede board. We’ve done nothing but grow with Ponoka."

READ MORE: Plan ahead to get the most out of your day at the midway at the Ponoka Stampede

WCA has three units - two of which Hauser manages, travelling western Canada.

Changes that have come to Ponoka include the paved area where the midway sits.

“The blacktop makes for a better experience for all the moms and dads coming to the midway,” said Hauser. “The thing is, the calibre of the Ponoka Stampede as a brand and what the future looks like for the facility, it just took the fair to a whole other level.”

Hauser said attendance has seen a dramatic rise.

“We’re bringing in some new rides this year and we’re going to be a little bit bigger than last year.”

Classic rides coming to Ponoka include the Zipper, the Himalyaya, the Frenzy, Speed, the Ferris wheel and bumper cars. Brand new rides this year include a 100-foot-tall swing tower called Vertigo. A popular ride called Cliffhanger will return to Ponoka.

New rides for the kids include one called Monster Trucks, a coaster called Dragon Wagon and a little helicopter ride called Charlie Chopper. 

There will also be a new food trailer with fresh-squeezed lemonade, corndogs and a slushy concession as well as a specialty soda trailer called “Sip Soda” with 130 different flavours.

The Ponoka Stampede midway opens on June 25 at 5:30 p.m. Get any five rides for $20 only on June 25. 

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Ponoka News is your source for all things Ponoka Stampede leading up to and during Stampede Week June 25 to July 1. Find more Ponoka Stampede stories here.