Canada Day in Banff

After a morning hike in Paradise Valley, I decided to head down to Banff to catch a glimpse of its Canada Day activities. Being used to Canada Day party central in Ottawa, I was curious to see how a small tourist-centric town in Alberta celebrates the nation's birthday. The celebrations appeared to be centered in their main city park, with a concert stage at one end and a bunch of little kiddie activities at the other end.

It wasn't exactly my type of party scene so I headed back to the main street, where I joined the hoards of tourists checking out the shops. 

The main strip caters to all crowds: from those in the market for luxurious fur coats, shiny jewelry, quality sportswear, and fine cuisine, all the way down to tacky souvenirs and those looking for a quick fast food meal at McDonald's. 

Now I must admit that I was a bit overwhelmed by the crowds. I've definitely been in much larger crowds but after spending about a week in almost complete solitude on the park's trails with the exception of a few tourist hot spots and my hostel, there weren't many people I had to compete with for space for quite a while so instead of sticking around town for the 5pm parade and 11pm fireworks, I headed back to Lake Louise to enjoy the park's tranquility.

That being said, there were a lot of people and cars everywhere in the Park that day so peace and quiet was hard to come by but I somehow manged to be lucky enough to see three grizzlies later that evening.

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