Edmonton has many nicknames. It’s the ‘City of Champions’ and ‘Festival City’ too. Yet, the moniker ‘River City’ is what makes big news around this time of year. Why? Well, quite simply, ‘tis the season for the River City Roundup, a 10-day celebration of Edmonton’s Western heritage, which very appropriately is connected to the giant waterway running through the city.
What’s the Story behind ‘River City’?
Perhaps an obvious designation for those who are familiar with the area’s geographical structure, the ‘River City’ label stems from its landmark location nestled right along the mighty banks of the North Saskatchewan River.
The North Saskatchewan River has the unique designation as a Canadian Heritage River. This is due to its important role in developing much of what is now modern-day Western Canada.
The river not only was a major transportation route for fur trade brigades, but it also provided a settling ground for many fur trade posts. This enabled the surrounding regions to flourish and also provided much of Western Canada with the necessities for urbanization and growth. Flash forward to 2012 and Edmonton now supports the famed North Saskatchewan River valley parks system – which is the largest system of urban parks in North America.
So, yes, the name ‘River City’ is well-deserved.
As the municipality gears up to celebrate, we thought we’d give you the scoop on all the exciting action happening throughout the area. Whether it’s chili cook offs, live performances or dazzling fireworks displays, you can find it all at the River City Roundup.
River City Round Up Kick-Off Party, Sir Winston Churchill Square, Friday: 11:30 am – 7:30 pm
River City Round Up’s Kick Off takes place November 2-3 in Sir Winston Churchill Square. You can expect to see and taste the best of the West with their 22nd Annual Chili Cook Off where, for only $2 a bowl, you can try some of the most coveted recipes in the nation with free entertainment and door prizes too! Cooking goes from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm but don’t forget that the chili disappears fast, so arrive early to get you pick of the picante.
If you’re looking for evening entertainment, head down to Buckle on the Square, as Sir Winston Churchill Square breaks loose and comes to life with everything from beer gardens and BBQ snacks to live entertainment.
If you’re looking for some Saturday entertainment, then head down to City Market Downtown. Starting at 10am, there will be a whole gamut of great activities including free children’s crafts games, live entertainment, animals, food and more.
But don’t leave too early, because at 5:30pm Canadian country music legend George Canyon arrives! Performing on Churchill stage, his energetic show is sure to light up the crowd – partially because it is immediately followed by a spectacular fireworks show!
Canadian Finals Rodeo at Rexall Place, Wednesday: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
If you’ve got a soft spot for some good ol’ cowboy action then the Canadian Finals Rodeo is the one place you want to be. You can expect to see the best Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping, Ladies Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc Riding and Bull Riding folk in the nation, in addition to tons of prizes, contests and rodeo hoopla too.
Yee haw – River City, here we come!
To book your stay at Sandman Hotel Edmonton West, click: www.sandmanhotels.ca/hotels/edmonton-west/
To book your stay at Sandman Signature Hotel & Suites Edmonton South, click: www.sandmansignature.ca/hotels/edmonton-south/
To find out more about the River City Roundup, click: http://www.rivercityroundup.com/