Alberta North

The corner of northern Alberta that is the sprawling Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is known for its sands. Mostly, it’s the oil sands that has tongues a wagging, but there are cleaner dunes north of Fort McMurray that deserve their own bit of attention.

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The annual Extreme Mudfest will be just that — extreme. So, if you’re looking to get a little mud on the tires, don’t miss this one of a kind event.  

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Chuckwagon racing is back in Bonnyville, Alberta and better than ever. The town once boasted a very active racing scene but hadn’t hosted an event since the 1970s. 

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It takes a community to run a carnival. A carnival whose rides, food trucks, lights and all on-site attractions are powered 100 per cent by biodiesel fuel.

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 Even though it was amateur night and anyone was welcome to entertain the packed local hangout in Lac La Biche, I wasn’t about to step up to the mic to exercise my vocals on this night in La Bone’s Sports Pub.

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They know how to kick back and have good, clean fun and get-in-the-muck fun at the Hylo/Venice Harvest Days southwest of Lac La Biche.  Any time you add a pig to the mix, there’s got to be some muck.

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Feet raw from a hot afternoon of barefoot dancing, I dipped my toes into the cool flowing waters of the Tawatinaw River. Behind me, the band played on.  

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As the longtime announcer at the Bonnyville Pro Rodeo and Chuckwagon Races, the sights and spectacle is forever ingrained in his mind.

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Travel back in time to Haying in the 30’s and see how farmers of yesteryear worked from sun-up to sun-down followed by a Saturday night barn dance. 

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The 53rd annual Lac La Biche Pow Wow Days and Fishing Derby is going to boldly go where the festival has never gone before — the Bold Center.

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I have a confession to make. Despite being a born and raised Albertan, when someone raised the idea of going to a mud bogging event, I had to Google what it was.

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As I peered over the railing to the pit in front of me, I could see one truck still churning through the mud, slowly making progress, the impossibly sticky muck sucking the tires further down with each inch.

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What makes the Gathering so spectacular is that it has retained a small, intimate vibe.

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When the Magnificent River Rats Festival first kicked off in Athabasca in 1996, a city councillor came up to Andy Woudstra (one of the founding members of the festival committee) and told him it was doomed.

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Most people would rather not drive on an icy road for fear of a white-knuckling experience trying to stay in control of the car.  But then again, most people aren’t ice racers.

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Sustainival's first year in Fort McMurray was the talk of the town and fun for everyone - even those hard-to-please teens.

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When Phyllis Arsenault goes to the Lakeland Country Fair and Open Rodeo she feels like she’s stepped into a time machine. 

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 Lac La Biche area residents gather for the Lakeland Country Fair and Roughstock Rodeo and do what small town Albertans do – have a heck of a good time.

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In 1952, the Royal Canadian Air Force picked Cold Lake as its newest military installation – and today, 4 Wing Cold Lake remains one of the most significant air weapons and flight- training facilities in the world. In fact, it is Canada’s largest fighter base and the second largest RCAF base.

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Shin pads in place. Gloves firmly on. Cricket bat at the ready. Feet in the proper stance. I swing and miraculously connect with the yellow dimpled ball … and it goes about five feet.  

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