Tuesday, 23 June 2015

July 2015 in Alberta’s Capital

The Summer of Festivals is finally here! July’s sunshine, heat, and events will have you and yours out and about Edmonton all month.  Check out these annual classics and celebrate new favorites!
Canada Day (July 1st) Fireworks
Come to these locales for dazzling pyrotechnics to kick off our nation’s 148th year!
Downtown Fireworks: The High Level light show and fireworks over the River Valley begins at 11:00 pm. Suggested viewing grounds include the Alberta Legislature Grounds, Victoria Park, Ezio Faraone Park, Dantzer’s Hill, Government House Park, and TELUS Field.
Mill Woods Park: The fireworks start at 11:00 pm, however feel free to drop by as early as 1:00 pm for family fun!
Strathcona County: Head on down to Broadmoor Lake to check out the display starting at 11:00 pm.
St. Albert: Expect some epic pyrotechnics at Mission Park beginning at 11:00 pm!
Leduc: The Leduc Recreation Centre is the place to be at 11:00 pm!
Spruce Grove: Jubilee Park will host fireworks at 11:00 pm.

Canada Day at the Edmonton Valley Zoo
Location: Edmonton Valley Zoo
When: July 1st
Looking for a family-friendly event before the beer and fireworks? Then celebrate Canada’s 148th year at the zoo! It’ll also be the Valley Zoo’s 56th birthday, as well as Lucy the Elephant’s 40th, so there’ll be lots of Red and White Canadian Mini-Cupcakes to be had! Take part in the scavenger hunt, check out the Adventure Bus, enjoy some live music, and learn about all the amazing animals! See this page for details.

Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival
Location: Sir Winston Churchill Square
When: July 3rd – July 12th
Renowned for bringing the world’s greatest street acts to Edmonton for over 30 years, this festival is a staple of summer entertainment. Acrobats, musicians, actors, and more will be in the heart of downtown. No admission fee is necessary. As usual, it is the audience member who decides the value of each performance, contributing to the artists directly. With more than 1,500 shows to see, there’s certainly something to stroke everyone’s fancy, including the risqué Late Night Madness event! Check out this site for further information.

Historic Festival & Doors Open Edmonton
Location: Launch day will be at McKay Avenue School
When: July 5th – July 12th
Proudly celebrate the Edmonton and Edmonton-area community with this event! Learn about milestones for our city, visit museums and archives; go on bus or walking tours of gardens, natural areas, cemeteries, and neighbourhoods. Appreciate the diversity in our history and see contributions many groups have made to make Edmonton as great as it is. For details, go here.

Sourdough River Festival
Location: Terwillegar Park
When: July 12th
Started by the folks from Edmonton Power in the 1960s, this event has transformed through the ages, much like the city itself! No longer are participants bound to a castaway’s mere wooden raft. See or sail barges, floating islands, castles, pirate ships and whatever else imagination (and hard work) can fabricate! Rafts will launch from Terwillegar Park at noon and spectators can watch from the banks of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Before all that excitement, however, there will be a Toonie Pancake Breakfast served from 9:00 am – 11:30 am. See here for further information.
A Taste of Edmonton
Location: Sir Winston Churchill Square
When: July 16th – July 25th
Indulge in Edmonton’s most tantalizing event! For 30 years, A Taste of Edmonton has been bringing people in droves to experience the best in local cuisine. Dozens upon dozens of restaurants and food trucks will be in attendance, with gluten-free and vegetarian options so everyone can enjoy. Besides live music, there will be Sip ‘n Savor, a culinary workshop where up to 10 participants can boost their skills in the kitchen with the guidance of a Chef. However, the workshops do require booking and are $25 a person. Please visit this page for details, including all workshops, vendors and menu items!

Edmonton’s K Days
Location: Northlands
When: July 17th – July 26th
A summer favorite returns in full force! The K-Days Parade will begin at 10 am on July 17th, starting place at 106 St & 102 Ave. The following days will be filled with rides, mini donuts, performances, shopping, and more! Molson Boardwalk Beach & Beer Gardens will offer full bar service right by the South Stage, featuring a different headliner each night, such as Trooper, Lights, and Theory of a Deadman. Klondike Park will feature historic and fun events, like the Chilkoot Gold Mine, where any gold you pan is yours for the keeping! And, of course, every night the sky will be lit up with dazzling fireworks! Click here for more (because there’s a lot!).
Interstellar Rodeo
Location: Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park
When: July 24th – July 26th
Local and international talents provide an out-of-this-world musical experience as the month comes to an end. Blues, rock, soul, and more are on the docket as the massive line-up of artists continues to grow. Check out the likes of Oh Susanna, Tanya Tagaq, The Wet Secrets, and again, even more, at beautiful Hawrelak Park! See this site for details.
Have an outstanding July, Edmonton!

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Scribe's Society - Positively Challenged Round 2! Fight!

As some of you may know, my writing group, the Scribe's Society, partakes in writing challenges. See this post for more details and our first challenge.
The challenge I'm featuring today is one where the goal was to put a spin on a fairy tale or nursery rhyme.
I chose Chicken Little.
… Or was it that Chicken Little chose me?
Either way, THIS happened.

Chicken Little
    Farmer Brown’s farm was busy from the crack of dawn to the setting of dusk. The only time it was ever quiet was when the farmer and his family were asleep, so that’s when the animals slept, too. Except for a fluffy yellow chick, that is.
    Chicken Little was wide awake. On fast tiny legs, he waddled to the centre of the yard, looking at the vast black sky, peppered with shimmering dots. The full moon hung heavy against the celestial backdrop, bathing the chick in white light. It was otherworldly. He could almost feel the cosmos resonate within him.
    A star with a bright long tail blazed across the sky and Chicken Little’s feathers ruffled with excitement. The shooting star became larger and brighter, much to his delight. And much to his surprise, it was speeding towards Farmer Brown’s farm.
    He blinked, watching the fiery halo fall to Earth in a peculiar fashion, hovering from side to side, like a boat on the sea. It then stopped mid-air on a dime. Chicken Little tilted his head, confused by the shiny, smooth, and silver appearance of the star. It reminded him of the container Farmer Brown put the horsies in when they had to go somewhere. The old man called it a trailer, but this … wasn’t a trailer.
    From the strange object came a beam of light, red and sinister. It fell upon Bully Woolly snoring in the field. He barely had time to moo in confusion before he was turned inside out. The bull quaked for a moment before popping like a water balloon.
    Chicken Little gasped!
    He turned on his heel and ran into the barn, coming across Henny Penny first. He stirred the old bird from her sleep.
    “Henny Penny! Henny Penny! The sky is falling!” The chick reported.
    The hen sobered. “Have they come?”
    Chicken Little nodded.
    “I’ll find Ducky Lucky.” Henny Penny shook herself awake. “Go to Foxey Loxey.”
    The little chick tore off one way and the hen the other. He made his way to the henhouse, watching a white beam of light send creatures down from the not-trailer. They were tall, much taller than Farmer Brown. Skinnier. With long limbs, giant heads, and large dark, soulless eyes. This did not bode well.
    Chicken Little busted into the henhouse, seeing Foxey Loxey atop the rafters, standing at attention, sleeping birds below. The fox glanced down at the young chick.
    “The sky is falling,” Foxey said simply.
    “Yes, and the others are aware, sir.”
    Foxey nodded. “Let’s join them, shall we?” He hopped down and kneeled, letting the chick onto his back. They bounded into the farmyard, flanked by Henny Penny and Ducky Lucky.
    “Like ol’ times, eh?” Ducky Lucky chortled. “They’ve cloaked their ship, I see. Skins, too. Canna see the bastards!”
    “Language!” chided Henny.
    “Quiet, woman!” The mallard retorted. “This is war!”
    Chicken Little hopped off Foxey’s back. “I last saw them disembarking the ship.”
    Foxey lifted his nose in the air, inhaling. “They’re here!”
    With a crackle of light, a creature de-cloaked. It stared at the farmyard animals with a mixture of curiosity and wickedness, clicking sounds coming from the back of its throat.
    Foxey Loxey took a step forward. “Get off my farm, you Andromedian prick.”
    The alien blinked, pointing at Foxey, clicking louder, talking over its shoulder nervously as if it were addressing others.
    “NOW!” screamed the fox.
    “Yessir!” was the resounding cry.
    Foxey reared back, his muzzle splitting from his jaw. His bones and teeth exploded with growth, furred skin bunching over muscle and sinew as he morphed into a nine-foot-tall bipedal killer. His once fluffy tail split into several slick tentacles, whipping the air.
    Liquid ran down the alien’s leg and that pleased Foxey, for it was too stunned to react to Foxey’s massive jaw at its throat. It slumped once his teeth severed arteries and a thin spinal cord. Foxey’s tentacles whipped around and sank themselves into the gray flesh, siphoning the blood, meat, and bone marrow from within.
    Foxey found an interesting mechanical wristband as he fed. He crushed it, suspecting what the device was for. And he was right.
    The alien’s cohorts de-cloaked in brilliant white light. They were running away, trying to get back to wherever their ship was. But there was nowhere to run. The others were hungry, too.
    Ducky’s green and brown wings had grown enormous.  He cut off the crew of grays, flapping his thirty foot wingspan. A gale full of dirt kept the aliens at bay as they raised their hands up to their sensitive eyes. Where Ducky’s head once was were tentacles, and they grabbed a gray. His chest split open, and he shoved the invader inside. It closed with a crunch, sealing in a shrieking morsel.
    Henny Penny had become plump, tremendous in size, and ostrich-like with five conjoined heads, all with giant razor-sharp beaks. With great speed, she caught up with a gray, every head screeching as they blinded the alien. Ooze wept from gaping wounds as her beaks pulled the gray into her body. She didn’t have feathers anymore. Instead, they too were tentacles, writhing around their meal.
    And then there was Chicken Little. He wasn’t so little anymore. As the others had, he grew, too. His arms and legs were massive, his body brawny and humanoid to make up for the fact he no longer had wings in his true form. He thundered after the final gray, the ground trembling.
    The ship flickered back into existence as the final gray approached it. But it was too late. Chicken Little opened his mammoth beak, tentacles ripping from his throat and extending for the alien. They wrapped around the gray, pulling him in. Once he got close enough, Chicken Little ripped his limbs off one by one to make digestion easier.
    “That’s what you assholes get!” One of Henny’s head spat out a ball of bones.
    Ducky wheezed with laughter. “Couldn’ta said it better m’self!” His talons gripped the side of the ship, and he whirled and whirled, finally releasing the identified flying object. The silver disc warbled out of sight, an interstellar Frisbee to plant in another farmer’s field.
    Foxey nodded, lifting a leg and spraying what remained of the gray he savaged with steaming urine. “We were here first, after all. Good work on watch tonight, Chicken Little.”
    Chicken Little beamed. “Thank you, sir!”
    Then a light illuminated Farmer Brown’s front porch. “What in the hell?!”
    Foxey sighed. “We’ll have to knock him out and place him in the moonshine shack again.”