Calgarians enjoy the great outdoors for the May long weekend
Every year, winter-weary Calgarians can’t wait for the May long weekend to arrive, and this one did not disappoint.
The city’s newest celebrities got a lot of visitors at the Calgary Zoo for the long weekend, hoping for a glimpse of the pandas having fun.
“They're awesome, I love them, they're so cute!” said Elora Green.
“It’s been a long time, I got to see the pandas when I was younger so we wanted to come and let them have the experience,” said David Green.
The new Panda Passage opened on May 7 and has been drawing the crowds ever since. Adult pandas Er Shun and Da Mao will be here for the next five years, while their cubs Jia Panpan and Jua Yueyue will head back to China next year. It’s hoped the adults will have more cubs while they are in Calgary.
Alberta put $10 million toward the panda project, and Calgary gave $8.15 million. It’s expected the pandas will bring in $16 million in tourism dollars.
Meantime across town, lots of people enjoyed the Heritage Park Historical Village for its 54th season.
“We have a great new dining series happening at the park, it’s our Selkirk Grill Field to Fork series,” said Barb Munro, Heritage Park. “We are offering all sorts of historical dining experiences such as tours of our heirloom gardens, we are doing an Edwardian garden party on the lawn of the Prince House, we are having a poker tournament in the settlements, we are doing barn dances and country dinners in the old red barn, so that is going to be very exciting for evening activities.”
If you are looking for non-dining experiences, the park has them too.
“Some really fun new street theatre where we talk about filmmaking in the 1920s, we have some great new interpretation programming in our encampments so we will be interpreting some antique stone circles and doing some coldsmithing demonstrations, and of course we have all of the favourites this year as well,” said Munro.
That includes trains, midway rides and many exhibits. The park’s paddlewheeler isn’t running this year due to low water levels on the Glenmore Reservoir, but should be back again next year.
Around the city patios and garden stores were busy as people enjoyed being outdoors.
Calgarians reveled in the good weather, which is sometime hit-and-miss on the Victoria Day long weekend.