Pano Pete and Panorama staff get the stampede spirit going with line dancing on the outdoor deck of the Great Hall.
ELIN THORA JENSDOTTIR
INVERMERE, B.C. - Cowboys aren’t usually associated with parkas nor are spring blossoms with ski hills, but that’s what Panorama Mountain Village is bringing to bridge the gap between winter and spring.
The Panorama Mountain Stampede Festival is on March 9 and 10, and the Spring Carnival happens almost a month later on April 6 and 7. For both festivals, Pano Pete, the wolf who doesn’t miss a party, will always be walking around the mountain village giving high fives.
While the two festivals have a similar schedule of events, the first is about paying tribute to western Canada’s heritage, while the second is a final farewell to winter. Both involve lots of entertaining carnival games, barbecues, and pancake breakfasts. Opportunities to take souvenir photos at the Big Chair will seal the memories.
People get their last runs in of the season during the Spring Carnival.
Panorama will have its Syndicate Rail Jam Series on both weekends where skiers and snowboarders of all ages can freestyle on the rails as much as they like, but are required to make two judged runs.
It makes for an awesome spectator sport, under the night sky with music pumping, and people can also try some night skiing on the Mile 1 Quad adjacent to the Rail Jam area.
If the Rail Jam Series is too much for the little ones, they can be dropped off at Wee Wascles Child Care to watch family movies chosen to coincide with the festival theme.
There’s also free tobogganing from 4:30 p.m. to 9p.m. on the Friday leading up to each festival.
On Saturday, kids will have a great time searching for a snake on the Magic Carpet, Silver Platter, or Mile One Quad runs in the Spring Snake Hunt. For the Stampede Festival, kids will be searching for the mini pony in the Stampede Pony Hunt. It goes all morning, so they’ll have worked up an appetite for the lunch barbecue served at the Great Hall.
“We got some special stuff with delegates coming from Calgary Stampede,” said Jamie Hurschler, Panorama marketing communications and partnership specialist. Hurschler couldn’t confirm who was scheduled to arrive yet, but last year Harvey the Horse carried the Calgary Stampede spirit on the mountain.
The mountain village becomes a sea of cowboy hats, with the sound of dancing boots to country music by The Swillbillies and Funk & Disorderly hosting the stage in the evenings at the T-Bar Grill.
A kid tries his shooting skills to try to win a prize at the Stampede festival.
The weekend concludes with a traditional Stampede pancake breakfast, and depending on the weather may take place indoors or outdoors. Families will have one last chance to capture a souvenir family photo before heading home.
For a lot of people the first weekend in April is the last chance to strap on the skis or snowboards. As the snow melts and the sun strengthens, Panorama says farewell to winter with the Spring Carnival.
L8 is the featured live music band at the Great Hall and a live DJ will keep the party pumping on Friday and Saturday night.
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