Submitted by Carol D.
For some, like me, born in the country and living in a large City all of my adult life the opportunity to return to my country roots whenever I can is great. I always say that the further I can stay away from cities when I am on vacation the better I like it. That is certainly the attraction to BLM lands when wintering south. (Wish we had more of that here in southern Alberta).
But when home in Alberta I have discovered that there are opportunities to enjoy “country” plus enjoy some great entertainment while doing so.
One annual event takes place in the little town of Stavely – (between Nanton and Claresholm) – each summer. The Willow Creek Cowboy Gathering is a whole weekend of great music and cowboy poetry in mid-June. The event is in the Arena. The dirt floor provides excellent acoustics. You can bring your own chair to enjoy 12 hours of entertainment Friday and Saturday and if that is not enough than adjourn to the nightly campfire jam session! Free dry camping is available around the Arena – or you can stay at the nearby town campground with hookups.
Entertainers come from near and far but some of my favorites are local talent like local rancher Charlie Ewing who is an excellent musician. He writes a lot of his own material.
Check the internet at www.wccowboygathering.com for the 2017 dates.
I am a fan of Chuck wagon Racing. A great up close and personal opportunity takes place in Rocky Mountain House each August when all the big guns race for the end of the season awards. It is called the Battle of the Rockies and you can still enjoy the event for 2016 as it immediately before our August Rally in Lethbridge. (It is just a delightful drive down the Cowboy Trail between the two events!)
2016 dates are August 18 – 21 to enjoy nine heats nightly with all the top wagons racing so close you can see their eyes. Only drawback is there is no instant replay! You buy tickets nightly but the dry camping right on site is free. Plan to arrive early as it gets crowded!