Historic Site opened its doors to welcome visitors for the 2016 season
This year, Parks Canada continues to improve its visitor offer with even more innovative and educational events and activities as well as new investments in visitor facilities. At the Bar U Ranch, Parks Canada is hosting a Hometown Heroes Weekend on May 21 and May 22, another reason why 2016 is the perfect time to experience Canada’s rich heritage and learn more about our history.
Hometown Heroes Weekend at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site begins with the unveiling of a special display honouring six men who worked at southern Alberta ranches before going to trench warfare that enveloped Europe during the First World War. The weekend also includes the Strathcona Mounted Troop in vintage uniform performing cavalry demonstrations from that period. Historical interpreters will tell the story of horses during the conflict and how agriculture on the home front supported the war effort. Also, volunteer teamsters will be planting a crop with real horsepower.
In addition to the special Hometown Heroes Weekend, the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site’s full roster of special events is back for the 2016 season, including:
- Father’s Day, June 19 – The Chuckwagon Beef Stew Cook Off returns with the Pack Horse Race as an added event. Sample the savoury offerings from the campfire and vote for your favourite. Cheer on the packers as they load a variety of items for the backcountry.
- Canada Day, July 1 – Celebrate Canada’s birthday “ranch style” with free admission to the Bar U Ranch.
- Parks Day, July 16 – The Strathcona Mounted Troop is back with their breathtaking musical ride and thrilling cavalry display.
- August 21 – Watch real ranch cowboys compete in work-based events at the Old Time Ranch Rodeo.
- September 11 – Experience the ultimate team effort of man and beast in the timed obstacle course in the Chore Horse Competition.
National parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer. Developing new and innovative programs and services is one way that Parks Canada helps more Canadians, including youth and newcomers, discover and enjoy one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected areas in the world.
As we near the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience Canada’s remarkable natural heritage and rich history at national parks and national historic sites this summer.
- Hometown Hero honouree Erland Hadow, a Military Cross recipient, worked on the Bar U and did not return home from the war. Hadow made local headlines in 1916 after capturing an enemy flag with his lasso.
- The Bar U Ranch is the only Parks Canada administered national historic site that commemorates the importance of ranching to the development of Canada.
“If you have never experienced the Bar U Ranch, 2016 is the year to visit and see what you’ve been missing. We are excited to provide new and unique ways for Canadians to connect with this national treasure.”
Travis Weber, Site Manager, Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
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- Bar U Ranch National Historic Site Twitter
- Friends of the Bar U Facebook
What’s New and Exciting this summer at Parks Canada?
Hometown Heroes Weekend at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site!
The First World War was life-changing for the Bar U Ranch and surrounding community. Parks Canada invites you to join us in commemorating individuals from all walks of life who made unique contributions to the war effort.
Hometown Heroes at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site begins with the unveiling of a new display May 21st and May 22nd honouring six men that worked southern Alberta ranches before going to the trench warfare in Europe. Bob Armstrong served a year in France and was wounded after the November Armistice, delaying his return home until the spring of 1919. Bob Carry lost a leg in France and came home to continue ranching with a wooden leg.
Military Cross recipient Erland Hadow, who worked on the Bar U Ranch, never returned home. Joe Johnstone survived a gunshot wound near his heart at Vimy Ridge only to fall at Passchendaele. Art Lowe’s Military Medal for bravery was sent to his father at the Bar U Ranch. Fred Nash found time to write home in 1916 to give details of a friend’s death that were published in the local newspaper.
As well as the new display, hear about “In Flanders Fields” author John McCrae’s wartime journey through the eyes of his horse in the new book “Bonfire, The Chestnut Gentleman” and meet author Susan Raby-Dunne on Saturday and Sunday, at 12:30 p.m. in the Bar U Theatre.
On Saturday, Parks Canada Historian Meg Stanley will speak about the Bar U Ranch at war and the Canadian horse and agriculture during WW1 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The Hometown Heroes Weekend also includes the Strathcona Mounted Troop in vintage uniform performing cavalry demonstrations from that period. On Saturday, a historic vehicle display will feature a Sherman Tank from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Historical interpreters will tell the story of horses during the conflict and how agriculture on the home front supported the war effort.
The special Hometown Heroes Weekend kicks off the roster of special events at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site during the 2016 season.
Dates: May 21-22, 2016
Ages: All ages are welcome!
Fee Information is available on the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site website.
This is just one of many new and exciting programs Parks Canada has to offer in 2016!
For more information: call 403-395-2212 or visit the Parks Canada website.