Mexifest, Stampede and Red Rock Diner: what’s on in Calgary this weekend

The Calgary Stampede kicks off with Sneak-a-Peek on Thursday and the next 10 days will be filled with overeating, catchy tunes, and lots of wild rides. If Stampede isn’t your cup of tea, there’s plenty of other things going on in Calgary this weekend.

Here’s what’s happening courtesy of The Calgary Homestretch‘s Susan Holzman. 

Red Rock Diner at Stage West

Inspired by a Vancouver broadcaster named DJ Red Robinson, who is credited with being one of the first to play rock and roll on Canadian radio. He was still a high school student when he started working as a deejay in the early 1950s, and in the 1960s became the host of Let’s Go, which showcased up-and-comers like Randy Bachman and Terry Jacks. Red Rock Diner is about five teenage boys coming of age in the 1950s while a very Red Robinson-esque character spins tunes that everyone will recognize, including Wipeout, At the Hop and Great Balls of Fire.

The cast of Red Rock Diner, a musical inspired by the life of Vancouver deejay Red Robinson. It’s on at Stage West Calgary. (John Watson Photography)

Mexifest

Eau Claire Plaza will be transformed this weekend into a two day long festival that celebrates Mexican culture through food, art and music. There will be mariachis, Mexican folklore and even an authentic luchadores ring, filled with Mexican wrestlers. It’s a family-friendly event, with a kids area, dancing, interactive games and pinatas. Adults meanwhile can enjoy a margarita or beer with their tacos, because it’s licensed. And for the bold, there’s a hot sauce eating competition. It’s on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Eau Claire Plaza.

Mexifest will also feature a luchadore ring, with demonstrations of Mexican wrestling. (Mexifest)

Operation Explore

Telus Spark has launched a summer program called Operation Explore, that features a junkyard playground and an outdoor maze. There’s a Rubix Cube competition, and lots of other brain twisters. Operation Explore runs all summer too, through Sept. 3 — and families, feel free to just drop in. You don’t need to sign up in advance.

The Telus Spark science centre, seen at night with downtown Calgary in the background. (Mike MacLean)

Alternative Stampede at Fluor Rope Square

For those who hanker for a western flavour but may not be up to the Stampede hoo-ha, there’s also the Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza. It’s got live entertainment, square dancing, horse drawn carriage tours and on Saturday, there’s an outdoor screening of the original The Magnificent Seven, a classic western that was just remade, starring multiple Oscar-winner Denzel Washington. Before the film, there’s music by the Travelling Mabels. Best of all: it’s free and goes at Olympic Plaza on July 7, then from July 9 to July 14.

The original Magnificent Film will be shown Saturday, July 7, at Fluor Rope Square in the Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary. The film is being remade, featuring a cast that includes (above) Oscar winner Denzel Washington. (Handout)

The real Stampede deal

It’s a musical mecca this year, in particular a Big Four concert Sunday night featuring Blue Rodeo, Whitehorse, Mike Plume, Lindi Ortega, and Colter Wall. The Coca Cola stage features lots of name brand acts, including Broken Social Scene, Alexisonfire, Elle King, Cheryl Crow, Daniel Caesar, the Rural Alberta Advantage, Lights, Jocelyn Alice and many, many others.

The Calgary Stampede kicks off tonight with Sneak-a-Peek. And the next 10 days will be filled with tasty pancakes, toe tappin country music and thrill-seeking rides. But there are also plenty of OTHER choices if you are looking for something to do this weekend in Calgary. CBC’s Susan Holzman joins Doug with a few Stampede and non Stampede options. 7:27

If the music doesn’t get you, there’s always the food, for better and weirder. This year, that includes a deep fried cricket grilled cheese sandwich, giant squid skewers, goat’s head soup, a kangaroo-stuffed burger — and other stuff.

From left: A pho-rito, a kangaroo-stuffed burger, a cricket caramel apple and deep fried wine and cheese are just some of the new menu items being offered on this year’s Calgary Stampede Midway. (Calgary Stampede)



With files from The Calgary Homestretch



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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.

History

Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
Geography

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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