June 20, 2019

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High-flying fun featured at this year's Red River Ex

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/6/2015 (1470 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

This might be the year to take the plunge at the Red River Ex.

That's because one of the new attractions on the midway is Gravity Jump, which makes its Canadian debut at the Winnipeg fair this summer.

A 10-metre tower will be set up at the Red River Ex grounds as the takeoff point for thrill-seekers. A giant airbag will break jumpers' falls.

"It looks massive," Matthew Cheung, the Ex's marketing and communications co-ordinator, says of the airbag. "The company that runs this, someone has jumped from 55 metres to set a world record."

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/6/2015 (1470 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

This might be the year to take the plunge at the Red River Ex.

That's because one of the new attractions on the midway is Gravity Jump, which makes its Canadian debut at the Winnipeg fair this summer.

Sinbad's High Dive Show

Sinbad's High Dive Show

A 10-metre tower will be set up at the Red River Ex grounds as the takeoff point for thrill-seekers. A giant airbag will break jumpers' falls.

"It looks massive," Matthew Cheung, the Ex's marketing and communications co-ordinator, says of the airbag. "The company that runs this, someone has jumped from 55 metres to set a world record."

The company that manufactures the airbags, Bagjump.com, provides them for top freestyle skiers, gymnasts and BMX bike jumpers, among other athletes. Its commitment to safety can be viewed on its website at bagjump.com/en/safety.

Price is $5 per jump.

Slingshot, the ride that flings passengers in a capsule connected to giant bungee cords, returns this year as well, for $30 per ride.

For those folks who rather see death-defying stunts than participate in them, the Ex has brought in Sinbad's High Dive Show, where Sinbad and his sailors recover stolen treasure but have to make a 24-metre leap of faith at the end to make it to safety.

"The final high dive is quite the sight," Cheung says.

Sinbad's high-flying adventures take place three times daily, June 12-14 and June 18-21, at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. It's on twice a day, at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. June 15-17.

High-altitude excursions, in the safety of a helicopter, can also be had. Prairie Helicopters is bringing its four-seat 'copter to the Ex to provide 10-minute aerial views of the grounds, 20-minute rides over Assiniboine Park Zoo or 30-minute jaunts to downtown and back. Individual prices range from $50 to $145.

The Ex has always been a treat for animal lovers, and 2015's edition is no different. The Manitoba Hunter Jumper Association will once again host its equestrian competition at the Main Show Ring from June 12 to 14.

Sally Bishop's Trick Riding Show takes over the show ring from June 17 to 21.

"From what I've seen, she goes super-fast," Cheung says of Bishop, a Calgarian who's been a trick rider and stuntwoman since she was seven.

Dogs will also be performing stunts in Canine Stars, where athletic dogs show off feats of agility and strength. The highlight here is the dock-diving, where the pooches catch some big air before making a splash for the crowd. The terrific dogs perform every day during the Ex.

Looking for more canine entertainment? The third annual Continental Stock Dog Championship returns to the Ex, as more than 30 dogs and their handlers from the Prairies and the U.S. vie for $14,000 in prize money.

The dogs steer their herd of sheep through a course; they are timed while the handler uses only whistles or voice commands to communicate.

The championship runs from June 19 to 21.

Opening night at the festival winds up with a bang with a fireworks show put on by CanFire Pyrotechnics. The show is at 11 p.m., but Ex officials recommend gathering early and facing west for the best views.

Advance tickets can be purchased for $10 at Mac's and Sobeys stores, as well as redriverex.com. Children six and under are allowed in free. Tickets are $15 at the Red River Ex gate.

For more information about the Ex, check out redriverex.com.

alan.small@freepress.mb.ca

Alan Small

Alan Small
Arts and Life Editor

Alan Small was named the editor of the Free Press Arts and Life section in January 2013 after almost 15 years at the paper in a variety of editing roles.

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