Central Alberta’s largest summer celebration kicked off Wednesday morning.

Thousands of people flocked to downtown Red Deer to take in this year’s parade to jump-start Westerner Days.

The parade featured over 125 floats and event organizers say this year may have even broke an attendance record.

The gates at Westerner Park opened shortly after the parade.

The theme this year is ‘Well Worth The Ride.’

"We wanted to create a whole new experience for families to enjoy at Westerner Days. There’s lots to experience, there is 45 free activities that you can do at the park once you get in through admission. There’s also 14 new experiences this year that you can enjoy,” said Westerner Parker Assistant Manager of Marketing and Communications Ashley Nelson.

“There's so much that families can do, it doesn't matter what age they are, what they're interested in, they can come at night when the chuckwagons are on, when the concerts are on. They can come during the day for the midway. We have lots of different kid activities as well at the 19th Street Market. We also have lots of agriculture stuff that is going on that is new this year, as well as the dinosaur show,” she added.

Around 90,000 to 100,000 people are expected to attend this year’s celebrations.

“They come from all over Alberta, as well as right here in our city. Westerner Days creates about $7 million of economic impact, $5 million of which is brought in from visitors around the province. So it’s a big impact for Red Deer, as well as central Alberta,” said Nelson.

Westerner Days run until Sunday.