Stampeding, Cyclepalooza and a princess: What to do this weekend in Calgary

If you're looking for a few ideas to get you and your family out of the house this weekend, our director Tracy Fuller has got you covered.

Princess Ayako of Takamado will be in Lethbridge

Lots to do this weekend in and outside of the Calgary Stampede grounds. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

If you're looking for a few ideas to get you and your family out of the house this weekend, our director Tracy Fuller has got you covered.

Princess visit

Princess Ayako of Takamado will be in Lethbridge with Alberta's Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.

This isn't the first time Japan's imperial family has honoured the garden. Princess Ayako's mother, Princess Takamado, visited in 1992 for the garden's 25th anniversary.

This is the third generation of the imperial family to visit.

The garden opened in 1967 as Lethbridge's centennial project. It's dedicated to the many Japanese settlers in southern Alberta who arrived before and after the Second World War.

Princess Ayako arrives at the garden at 9 a.m. Friday, starting with a private tour that will be broadcast on big screens outside the garden. From noon until 1:30 p.m., the public can watch on-stage ceremonies and presentations for free. It will reopen from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., also free of charge.

The garden is open all day Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., for drumming and an Asian market along with many other family-friendly activities.

To cap it all off, Canadian singer Amanda Marshall is headlining the garden's 50th anniversary concert at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge on Saturday night.

All the details are right here.


As the Calgary Stampede winds down, here are some "this weekend only" events.

The International Livestock Auctioneer Championship takes over the Agrium Western Event Centre on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Stampede Blacksmith Classic wraps-up Sunday in the Northern Lights Arena, while the annual Stampede Talent Search concludes Saturday at the Boyce Theatre.

The North American Sheep Shearing Challenge takes over the Victoria Pavilion Saturday and Sunday.

The Junior Steer Classic runs those same days in the AG barns. That's where ranchers aged nine to 21 showcase their stock and compete for scholarships and prize money.

If all that's not enough, of course there are the chucks, the grandstand show and the fireworks.

And of course the Rangeland Derby's Big Dash for Cash happens on Sunday night.

For everything you need to know, check this out.

Non-stampeders rejoice

How about a 10-day festival on two wheels? Yes, Cyclepalooza is back for its seventh year, with tonnes of bike-friendly activities for the whole family.

It starts Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. with coffee, the essential cycling fuel, then some of the exciting events this weekend include a Foldie Fondo, that's for folding bike enthusiasts.

There's also a brewery tour, a picnic in white, a 100-kilometre fixie trip at night and a downtown bike tour.

The festivities continue all next week, with things like a bike polo newbie night and a beach blanket bingo party.

Check here for all the details.

Turkish Festival

The Turkish Festival kicks off Thursday at Eau Claire Festival Plaza and runs until Sunday.

This annual festival showcases the best in Turkish art, folk dance, music and gourmet food, from sumptuous kebabs to mouth-watering pastries.

You'll find it near the river, under a bunch of white tents. It's absolutely free to wander about and watch the performances.

Have a look here for more information.