Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mounties on Parade for Canada Day in Jasper


As luck would have it, Terry and I were in Jasper, Canada for Canada day. Were were warned by out hotel that parking would be hellish downtown and that we should use the shuttle bus for a price. We ignored their warnings and found a parking spot easily. We had breakfast at a nice downtown deli and then I headed to the town park where the parade was going to start. People were already setting up their lawn chairs on the sidewalk to be sure they had a prime spot to watch the parade. I got to overheard plenty of town gossip from the locals. There is plenty of drama even in a mountain town paradise. One woman's sister is married to a convict in prison. The family warned the girl, but love is blind. I found a shady spot across the street and watched the mounties line up in formation for the parade. There was a flag waving ceremony in Centennial Park which the mounties were a part of.

The Canadian flag was everywhere. People had dozens of hand held flags and some people had Canadian flag temporary tattoos on their faces at least I hope they were temporary. Flags functioned as capes and cloaks. By the time the parade officially started, my sketch was finished. I texted Terry and walked back towards the deli where we had breakfast. She was there seated at an outdoor table with red and white helium balloons tied to her chair. It was a typical small town parade with floats advertising local businesses and groups of children marching with their martial arts group of a high school band. Their was plenty of candy thrown into the crowd which sent kids running into the street to collect their loot.

The big draw that evening was the fireworks. It gets dark very late in the Canadian Rockies so it was still light when the first rockets lit the sky at 11:15pm. Terry and I got hot dogs from a vendor and sat with the crowd on a grassy hillside overlooking the soccer field where the mortars were set up. A fenced in area on a baseball diamond housed the beer garden where a crowd sipped beers while watching the fireworks. It was a great display with a thunderous grand finale. Afterwards Terry and I hoped to find an open store but the town was silent. All the celebrating had stopped and the streets were quit except for a few rowdy teens,  although I bet we could have found a crowd in a local bar.

On the drive back to the hotel, we looked for moose or elk wading in the moonlit streams but didn't find any. Back at the hotel we ordered root beer floats as a treat before we went to bed since we had forgotten to eat dinner.


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