Camrose, whose original name was Sparling, is a small city in central Alberta about 90km southeast of Edmonton. It’s population is roughly just under 20,000 people and yet it has the charm of a small town. The August long weekend in Canada is the time for the Big Valley Jamboree which brings up to 90,000 people into town for a long weekend of country music, fun, partying, and one of the biggest motorhome/trailer gatherings in one park anywhere. The town does get crowded at this time. AND the start of it seems to always coincide with the same time as we need to do our grocery shopping for the family campout. Oh well, we just learn to take the crowds.
The city itself is surrounded by some of the richest farmlands in all of Alberta and the scenery and the landscape is breathtaking. The historic part of the town is absolutely charming and still quite lively with lovely shops lining the streets, flowers, wall murals, and the good ole diagonal parking. Just like the old days! Right smack on the main street in the old historic town is the old Bailey Theatre, one of the oldest vaudeville theaters in Canada and still operating with shows today. Did I mention this city is quaint and charming? Not only is the historic area lovely but it has Mirror Lake Park right in the city center with lots of walking, picnic areas, canoeing, jogging, roller blading, and birding.
The city is growing and continues to stretch out along Hwy 13 with businesses popping up overnight, it seems. All in all, just a lovely place!