This is what it’s essential to know in regards to the return of the Saskatoon Ex

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Festivities run Friday Aug. 6 to Sunday Aug. 8, then take a two-day break for staff to clean before resuming from Wednesday Aug. 11 to Sunday Aug. 15.

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Andrea Hill Saskatoon StarPhoenix Fairgoers enjoy rides at the Saskatoon Ex on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Fairgoers enjoy rides at the Saskatoon Ex on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Photo by Liam Richards /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Spudnuts and roller coasters are coming back to Prairieland Park as the Saskatoon Exhibition kicks off on Friday.

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Last year marked the first time since 1886 that the Ex did not take place in the Bridge City and Susan Kuzma, special events manager for Prairieland Park, hopes it’s the last.

“We’re so excited to be putting on a major event like the Saskatoon Exhibition not just for the City of Saskatoon, but also for the province. It’s a major event each year and it’s been a bit disheartening to not be able to produce it,” she said.

In advance of the Exhibition, Kuzma spoke with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix about what people can expect about the COVID-19-era event.

1. More days to check out the festival

Typically the Ex takes place over six days. This year there are eight days of programming spread out over 10 days.

Festivities run Friday Aug. 6 to Sunday Aug. 8, then take a two-day break before resuming from Wednesday Aug. 11 to Sunday Aug. 15.

In the two days off, Ex staff will do a thorough cleaning of the area including all touch points.

2. All events are outdoors

There will be no indoor events at the Ex this year.

A full calendar of programming is available on the Saskatoon Ex website and there will be an on-site QR code that people can scan to access the schedule.

One notable outdoor event missing from calendar is the downtown parade, which is not going ahead this year.

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3. Lots of hand sanitizing stations and room to distance

There will be hand sanitizing stations throughout Prairieland Park, both free-standing and on kiosks.

Staff have increased the distance between concessions and rides to allow people to distance from others a bit if they choose to.

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“But generally, there’s no restrictions. If they feel like they want to wear mask, they’re very welcome to, but it’s not mandatory,” Kuzma said. “We see it as being a very safe event.”

4. New and fantastic rides

The Ex will host a “large number” of new rides including a roller coaster and large mega drop.

“There’s some really great rides out there for those people that love the thrills,” Kuzma says.

5. Excellent food

Staples like spudnuts will be available for purchase and Ex goers can also try new fair fare including deep fried cheese curds and turkey legs.

“There’s just a really great variety of foods out there for people that have kind of missed it for a year,” Kuzma says.

  1. In photos: The Saskatoon Ex over the years

    In photos: The Saskatoon Exhibition over the years

  2. Riders had a swinging good time during the annual Exhibition at Prairieland Park in 2007

    After first summer without in 135 years, plans underway for Saskatoon Exhibition return

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