News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3135
Last updateThu, 21 Sep 2023 8am

Dinosaurs terrifyingly alive in Walking with Dinosaurs at Saddledome


    The dinosaur fossils filling the Royal Tyrrell Museum are pretty cool and all, but have you ever wondered what it feels like to have a 23 foot tall T-rex breathing down your neck?
    Over 17 dinosaurs come alive in the arena spectacle Walking with Dinosaurs which starts its 8 show stint at the Saddledome on August 11.
    “It is a look at both the earth’s and dinosaur’s history... using amazing life-sized puppets,” says Nellie Beavers, the Assistant Tour Manager with the BBC associated show.
    “It’s the closest thing you’re going to get to seeing a live dinosaur.”
    An internationally renowned crew of 75, including some working with the Muppets, have worked with scientists to create 17 life-size dinosaurs, including the terror of the ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus-rex.
    A team of three people remotely control each dinosaur, the large ones weighing as much as a car, as they tell a personal and historical story about the giant creatures Drumheller knows all too well.
    Huxley takes the audience on a journey all the way back to the Triassic period, bringing it through all three periods of the dinosaurs.
    “We start with the tiniest hatchling dinosaurs and let them grow into the tall Brachiosaurus.”
    “We see them fight for food, protect their young,” says Beavers. “This isn’t Barney, its a theatrical presentation backed by the BBC so we pride in having accurate dinosaurs.”
    “We’ve had lots of palaeontologist come see our show over the years, and I think what the most exciting thing for us is they think it is very accurate.”   
    The $20 million production is now in its fourth calendar year, and this will be the second time it’s been in Calgary.
    More than 3.1 million people have taken in the show in North America.
    Walking with Dinosaurs was inspired back in the late 90’s by Jurassic Park, and has since grown into a world-renowned travelling production.
    Three people are required to move each dinosaur which ways up to 1.6 tonnes.
    Controlled by remote, one operates the chassis movement at the base of each beast,  while one operates head and tall motion and another controls detailed movements such as breathing, blinking, and mouth movement.

Rainy weather slows Highway 9 roadwork


    The wet weather experienced in the area this summer has severely hampered the construction work on Highway 9.
    Contractors are grade widening a portion on Highway 9 from its intersection with Highway 21, and putting the final paving overlay on the section of Highway 9 built two years ago.
    Dennis Grace, Alberta Transportation’s construction engineer in charge of the project, told The Mail that due to the weather conditions, they have been delayed by approximately 35 days.
    “So far they (contractors) are half way completed with the grading work, the earth moving component of it,” confirmed  Grace.
    He said when the contractors were able to work, the progress was slow due to the wetness.
    “It has been a terrible summer that way,” said Grace, adding that progress in the next few weeks should give them a better idea of when the project will be complete.
    “Paving was supposed to start in August, we are looking at starting it in September now because of all the delays.”
    Originally planned to be completed by mid-October, Grace said it looks like construction work will go beyond that, depending on the weather.
    Grace said drivers should use the detour in place when it has been raining due to the road condition, and confirmed they have only received one damage claim so far.
    The detour goes through Carbon on Highway 836,  along  Highway 575, going through Acme then via Highway 806.   

RCMP Musical Ride at Stampede Grounds August 11

    Don’t try returning your tickets for Drumheller’s first ever hosting of the RCMP Musical Ride: the event is a go despite misconception over recently cancelled shows elsewhere in Alberta.
    The traditional RCMP display of equestrian showmanship will be held at the Stampede Grounds on Wednesday, August 11.
    This year’s tour came to a halt after one of the horses contracted a contagious bacterial infection, but returned July 23 with a show in Edmonton.
    Drumheller’s event will go ahead as planned.
    “It is a phenomenal opportunity for Drumheller to host this,” says Staff Sergeant Arthur Hopkins of the “ballet of horses”.
    The Drumheller detachment will play a minor role in the ride, but will be in attendance and on hand if needed.
    Proceeds from the August 11 event are going to Big Country Victim Services, which support victims of tragedy from Oyen, Hanna, and Drumheller, and the Drumheller Agricultural Society, who is providing the Stampede Grounds.
    The event will feature two performances, one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.
    The Stampede Ground barn, turned stable for the event, will be open the night before (Tuesday) for interested visitors to meet the horses first hand.
    Today, in keeping with tradition, the Musical Ride is performed by a full troop of thirty-two riders and horses, plus the member in charge.
    The Musical Ride consists of the execution of a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drill choreographed to music.
    Demanding utmost control, timing and coordination, these movements are formed by individual horses and riders, in twos, fours and eights at the trot and at the canter.
    Months of training, practice and many kilometres around the riding school make horse and rider one.
    The horses must not only appear in the Musical Ride, but on Parliament Hill, in parades, special events and have the ability to travel and adapt to different environments, not to mention hours of petting and photo-taking the horses must patiently endure.
    “This is a great opportunity for the community to benefit from,” says Hopkins.
    The native dancer who was well received at the 2010 Olympic celebrations in Drumheller will be performing at the Musical Ride.
    The Musical Ride was developed from a desire by early members of the North-West Mounted Police to display their riding ability and entertain both themselves and the local community.
    Considering the original Mounted Police members had a British military background, it was inevitable that the series of figures they performed were traditional cavalry drill movements.
    Although legend has it the first Musical Ride was performed as early as 1876, the first officially recorded Musical Ride was performed in Regina under Inspector William George Matthews in 1887.
    The Musical Ride, consisting of twenty men, was put on public display for the first time in 1901. Over the years the popularity of the Ride has grown and it has become a familiar sight throughout most of the world.


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