Sam Steele Days celebrates 50 years of sweethearts and ‘staches

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Bet your fu manchu on it that it’s going to be a great weekend

Sam Steele Days features a wide range of entertainment all weekend. 
Photo provided by Sam Steele Days

CRANBROOK, B.C. - Sam Steele Days in Cranbrook is always a weekend full of fun and festivities. But this year, along with celebrating the historical figure that is Sam Steele and his mighty moustache, the festival will focus on the youth who will take the festival into the future. Share this page on Twitter.

From June 16 to 19 there will be a big emphasis on the Sweethearts of Sam Steele Youth Ambassador Pageant. For a half a century, teen girls have been participating in the pageant that has inspired them to be more self-confident by learning leadership, public speaking, goal setting and etiquette skills. This year it’ll be a bit of reunion when past candidates are asked to participate in the celebration.

By the end of the night, the new Sweetheart and Princess of Sam Steele will be crowned and the big gala and dance will follow on Saturday night. The Sunday afternoon Dress Up Tea Party brings together the generations of Sweethearts by including girls 12 and under in the event.

“The whole community loves the Sweetheart of Sam Steele Youth Program,” says Laura Kennedy of the Sam Steele Days organization. “The girls gain so much confidence and learn skills that will carry them through life from volunteer leaders of Cranbrook. And with so many of the past candidates coming this year it will be a huge event.”

There are plenty of other things happening all weekend, too. Here’s a look at what’s planned.

Get ready to eat and party like a Mountie on a mission

What’s a festival without pancakes? Sam Steele Days will never know because it’s almost mandatory to fuel up on pancakes. The weekend starts at the crack of dawn on Thursday, with the Sam Steele Days Kick-off Pancake Breakfast at the Tamarack Centre. If you miss that one, don’t panic there are two more on Friday morning. Barbecues, food tastings and the Grand Party will keep your fork moving all weekend. Friday and Saturday nights adults can kick up their heels and party at the Festival Gardens with live music all evening.

Everyone loves a parade

Set the lawn chairs on the curb and watch the parade go by. Saturday morning is reserved for floats, furry and famous friends, classic cars and the Cranbrook Bugle Band.

The parade includes floats, a bugle band and classic cars. 
Photo provided by Sam Steele Days

Sam Steele ball tournaments

Spend the weekend on the beach, on the pitch or at the diamond at four different tournaments.

  • The East Kootenay Volleyball Club hosts the Sam Steele Days Beach Volleyball Tournament at the College of the Rockies. The tournament is open to teams that can grow mustaches (adults) or cookie dusters (18 and under) or peach fuzz (under 16 and under 14).

  • On the ball diamond, the Slo-pitch tournament is open to three divisions of play; competitive, intermediate and recreational.

  • Kids between the ages of 13 and 18 can lace up their spikes for some serious soccer action by entering their teams in the Kootenay East Youth Soccer Associations Sam Steele Days Soccer tournament at Moir Park. Moustaches are not required.

  • Balls of Steele is for those who like to combine a whole lot of fun with their exercise. The Sam Steele Balls of Steele is a BOCCE ball tournament where adults in costumes have way too much fun with their balls. Enough said.

Gather some friends and join the fun during the Sam Steele Ball Tournament.
Photo provided by Sam Steele Days

Central Fair Grounds is fun central

The kids won’t want to leave the Central Fair Grounds or downtown Cranbrook because the action and entertainment happens all day Saturday and Sunday. The grounds will be home to the community talent showcase, the inflatable funland, carnival games and food. Contests throughout the day will keep everyone entertained.

The loggers will be sharpening their axes for the Best Logger Sports Demonstration. The Strongman Competition will include the truck pull, loading events, car dead lift and metal log press. (You have to be able to grow a full mustache to enter this competition.) And the cutest contest of all — the Weiner Dog Races. Who knew Cranbrook had so many little dashers?

Measure the lip rug and win

This will be the second annual Sam Steele Moustache Competition and Sunday is the big event. You’ve been preening and waxing and clipping and man-scaping that lip rug for months — if not years. Now it’s time to see how it measures up against other real and not-so-real moustaches. Judges from two barber shops will determine who goes home with the coveted blue ribbons and bragging rights in four different categories.

“Last year the city went crazy with moustaches,” says Kennedy. “I saw a semi-truck going through town with a huge Sam Steele handlebar moustache on the grill. And, people everywhere had a moustache. It’s great to see everyone have so much fun with it.”

You can bet your fu manchu on it that it’s going to be a great weekend.

Will you have the best moustache?
Photo provided by Sam Steele Days

Father’s Day at Fort Steele Historic Town

Since you’re in the neighbourhood, and it is Father’s Day, take dad out to Fort Steele and see for yourself what the old town was like. Treat dad to some ice cream or see if he can pan for gold.

Fort Steele isn’t called a “Living Museum” for nothing. Entering the village is like stepping back in time where entertainer roam the streets, and livestock demonstrations show you just how tough it used to be. Ride the steam train or a horse-drawn wagon. Wander through the streets, into the buildings and through the gardens. Don’t forget to stop in at Mrs. Mather’s Ice Cream Parlour for a taste of her famous cinnamon ice cream.

More information about all the events can be found at

Get even more information about Sam Steele Days on our Festival Overview Page!

Read more about Sam Steele Days here.

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