The rain came and persisited.
The Greyhound buses shrunk.
The planes were grounded.
Some were dressed in raincoats.
Others forgot them but that was a minor consideration as they saw The show must go on and no the fat lady had not sung.
No not my usual Calgary Exhibition & Stampede I missed it while in Scotland at The Royal Military Tattoo.
This show was a 50th Anniversary labor Day Parade in Cochrane in Alberta Canada.
Cochrane will soon become part of Calgary as it was originally a small selcontained village 18kms West of Calgary but persistent development of housing now means a very brief glimpse of farmlands as one leaves Calagry before the outer developments of Cochrane becomes the town of Cochrane.
Now boasting a population around 28000 meaning it is now the second largest town in Alberta and one of the fastest growing communities in the whole of Canada.This all came out of the original Cochrane Ranche established in 1881 by Matthew Cochrane.
Many will attest to the quality of ice cream and coffee served in Main Street, perhaps these businesses flourish as Cochrane has no business tax.
So much for the dream of leaving the sprawl of Calagary for country living. Highway 1A which was the original route West out of Calgary still is a busy highway as tourists travel to Banff.
The Monday for the past 50 years has hosted the Cochrane labor Day Parade during the Labor Day longweek. The Parade raises funds for the local community and most of this money comes from the Pancake breakfast.
I arrived in town and we approached officials at the barriers requesting where the breakfast was located, after much discussion they sent us to the local Ford dealership in "that pointed direction".
We bisected the blocks using the back gravel laneways and saw the Ford dealership sign above the buildings. Arriving near by I asked the barrier attendant how to get to the venue. They had no idea so it was a case of Ök I know and off I went being the only vehocle in the street the only potential problem was the Peace Officer parked at the location.
Arriving at the venue in the rain I off loaded the rest of the party and went to the Post Office as I figured it was closed for the holiday so mo one would mind me parking there.
Arriving back at the Pancake venue by foot the rain had not abated a little so I paid my "donation" and collected my plate and platic cultery and joined a very short line p by the BBQ's. Normally they would expect some 14000 visitors but the adverse weather kept the crowd down.
The wait was only due to the winds blowing the gas burners out. The servers danced to keep warm. An indication of the low crowd was a call over the PA free second's!
The pancake breakfast was first class as they offered 3 sausage patties, 2 pancakes with maple flavouring along with a choice of Tim Horton hot chocolate or coffee plus fruit juice.
Entertainment was provided by two locals who played traditional Country much to the delight of these law abiding conservative Canadians who respect the past,the flag and National Anthem.
The PA also thanked The Aussie contingent for their attendance, which was appreciated.
The parade commenced on time at 10am with the traditional band and featured well decorated floats that covered local businesses and community groups as well as National organisations like Parks Canada.
The parade would not be complete without animals and in particular horses. They were well respresented combining the local kids, trial groups, groups who live the past and those bodies who use horses in their workplace.
The strict rules ensured both a safe parade and one that entertained those of us sitting and standing in the rain.
Some of the parade participants were lucky such as the Shriners in their mini coaches protected from the elements while the small planes exposed the "pilots"to the full force of the rain.
The featured band was well received as the kilts were covered in raincoats while hopefully the bagpipes survived in the rain.
The dancers no doubt found the going cold dressed in short skirts but very active to keep warm.
The rescue dogs had a mixed reaction the lead dog giving up after 60m but was very happy when their van came and he happily was lifted inside and a warm dog pad was revealed. The others including the St Bernard, just wagged their tails and paddled on happy to greet the few spectators and after all it was a walk.
We remained to the end unfortunately many decided to leave and head to warmer and dry locations not really what is respectful to the participants who braved the elements until the end.
Labor day weekend also signals the start of the new Canadian school year so after a rather large diversion back to Calgary for dry clothes we headed North to Airdrie to spend supper with the grandchild and watch his choice for his first ever lunch as Grade 1 is a full school day.