OUR Alberta 2018 | Page 36

region |calgary & area Quintessential Cowboy Experiences AIRDRIE N TR CALGARY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CR OW CH ILD TO: BANFF, CANMORE and KANANASKIS VILLAGE AVE NW 9 NW RE TR S W MO EN TO: DRUMHELLER MEDICINE HAT CITY CENTRE GL 8 16 AVE NW CHESTERMERE GLENMORE TR SW 22 RNE F LO 22 TO: LETHBRIDGE 2 7 TURNER VALLEY 22X E TR S UIS O MARQ SPRUCE MEADOWS TR BRAGG CREEK GLENMORE TR SE BLACK DIAMOND OKOTOKS VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 16 TR 36 COCHRANE 68 40 Y TR NW NE STONEY TR NW 40 72 If you arrive at the Calgary International Airport, one of the first things you’ll notice is the white cowboy hats the greeters are wearing. Smithbilt Hats (smithbilthats.com) has been creating the iconic white cowboy hat, a symbol of western hospitality, since 1946. These white hats have been presented to celebrities, dignitaries, and visiting guests from all over the world. The “real deal” is made from white felt, but you can choose a less expensive (and still authentic) straw version. Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall (ranchmans.com) is especially popular over the ten days of Stampede, but anyone can get their country fix at this authentic saloon year-round. Live performances by country bands happen regularly and the menu is full of cookhouse classics with daily food and drink specials. Drop-in dance lessons occur throughout the week so that you can learn to two-step like a real cowboy, and hats and boots are always encouraged. Knoxville’s Tavern (knoxvilles.ca) and Cowboys Dance Hall (cowboysnightclub. com) are two other iconic country-western themed bars, though they cater to a younger audience with pop-country music. Get a proper cowboy souvenir at Alberta Boot Company (albertaboot.com), where you can purchase some ready-to-wear genuine cowboy boots, or order some custom-made cowboy boots in cowhide or exotic materials including stingray and ostrich. This is the go-to place in Calgary for boots. Visit Glenbow (glenbow.org) gallery and museum to view the display Mavericks: An Incorrigible History to learn about Calgary’s history as a Wild West outpost, and the men and women who embodied the spirit of Alberta. Also view the gallery Niitsitapiisini: Our Way of Life, which explores the history of Alberta’s Blackfoot peoples. Since 1912, the annual Calgary Stampede (calgarystampede.com) has been a captivating experience that celebrates Calgary’s western and Indigenous histories with exciting rodeo Smithbilt Hats competitions, chuckwagon races, crazy midway food and games, live music, pancake breakfasts Thunder Alberta (countrythunder.com) music and festival events throughout the city. With festival stampedes into town with some of something for everyone, the Calgary Stampede country music’s biggest stars. Headliners include truly is “the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!” Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith and Eric Church, Check it out July 6 - 15, and don’t miss the kick- supported by other acts including Midland, Dean off parade in downtown Calgary the morning Brody and Chad Brownlee. of July 6. Heritage Park Historical Village Country music fans won’t want to miss (heritagepark.ca) is a living history museum Nashville North at the Calgary Stampede — that lets guests immerse themselves in how a series of country music concerts that are the west was once. Visit the blacksmith’s free with general admission. The Scotiabank shop, Drew’s Saloon for a cold one (beer for Saddledome, Calgary’s largest indoor concert the adults, soda for the little ones), Botsford CROSSFIELD venue, has previously hosted Johnny Reid, Harness Shop and Livingston House and Farm Brooks and Dunn, and many other famous for some authentic ranching and cowboy country stars. From August 17 - 19 the Country experiences. Calgary’s cowboy roots, tied to the ranching history of farmers in the area, were celebrated at the first Calgary Stampede in 1912 and have had a strong and steady influence on the city ever since. The spirit of the Wild West is alive year-round for visitors looking for a unique experience.