Heavy snow puts damper on waning days of Calgary summer

Christmas songs were being piped over the loudspeakers at Spruce Meadows on Tuesday as organizers of an upcoming marquee equestrian event chose humour to cope with a dump of late-summer snow in southern Alberta.

CALGARY — Christmas songs were being piped over the loudspeakers at Spruce Meadows on Tuesday as organizers of an upcoming marquee equestrian event chose humour to cope with a dump of late-summer snow in southern Alberta.

Tractors were plowing and staff were using shovels to scoop up the abundant white stuff from the main show-jumping ring in preparation for competition that was to begin Wednesday.

The Calgary International Airport recorded 11 centimetres of snow on Monday. The dump weighed down and broke trees, caught drivers off guard and caused power outages in many city neighbourhoods.

Environment Canada issued a new snowfall warning Tuesday because of another system rolling in from British Columbia that was predicted to bring in as much as 10 to 15 centimetres — and even more in higher elevations.

Spruce Meadows, just south of Calgary, is host to the crown jewel of its season this week. The Masters event attracts elite riders and horses from around the world who compete for millions of dollars in prizes.

“It’s something that’s got our ears forward, as they say, but we’re still looking forward to a great tournament. Environment Canada is encouraging going forward from here,” said Spruce Meadows vice-president Ian Allison.

“I used to say, ’Don’t ask me if I’ve seen it because I’ve seen it,”’ he said.

“To get two full days of this before the middle of September is quite unusual. We had a 26-degree temperature drop between Sunday evening and Monday. It could be better, but you have to make the most of the situation.”

Allison said the snow was preferable to heavy rain which usually plagues events in June. He said only thunder and lightning would cause any kind of cancellation.

Allison said the snow made it seem only appropriate to be playing Christmas music in the background.

“People ask us why we leave the majority of our Christmas lights up all year and you got the answer today. You’ve got 15 centimetres of snow, all the pine boughs are snow-laden and it looks pretty nice.

Why not throw the music on and knock it up a season or two?“

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month