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Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

Hervey Bay...
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Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

So the big once in a lifetime decision - Banff OR Jasper on Canada Day. Which one is going to give the greatest experience for three high spirited middle aged Aussies?

We are currently booked into the Banff Caribou Lodge, for 3 nights, checking out on the 1st. We were then going to make the dash to Edmonton but I realised it is Canada day and I don't want to miss the big day with driving, so do I extend for another night in Banff or hurry up and find something in Jasper?

I am thinking I have already spent a few days in Banff and have seen some of the area I may as well stop for another day as all it will involve is watching the parade and fireworks, and enjoying a few ales with the locals. And if I make the dash to Jasper I am not really going to see Jasper - am I? I may as well leave Banff the 2nd and complete the days drive to Edmonton then (with lunch in Jasper).

What do the great contributors to this forum think???

Burlington, Canada
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1. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

To be honest, I think the Canada Day festivities in both Banff and Jasper will be fairly low key. I doubt there will be a parade in either place and not too much special going on in either Banff or Jasper. It will be like most any other day except that they might have some fireworks. That's pretty much all I can think of that would be a big deal....the fireworks.

The only place in Canada where Canada Day is a really big deal is Ottawa. Everywhere else it's just another day with the exception that the grocery stores, banks etc... are closed. Perhaps others will know of some other festivities that will be happening but I doubt there will be much of anything.

seattle
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2. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

I spent the last 2 years in Banff on Canada Day. the traffic and crowds are enormous. There is no parade for celebration to speak of. It's 1 of the busiest days in the year in the park is everybody comes from Calgary. I suggest you get out of there before the holidays.

Jasper, Canada
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3. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

Jasper may only be a town of only 4500 people, but in tourist season, there are more like 15,000 or 20,000 around, and we have a full slate of Canada Day festivities, including a $2 pancake breakfast, parade, concerts, family events all afternoon and evening, and then fireworks at 11:15 pm. (The fireworks are late because it is light so late here... even at 11:15, it is not yet completely dark!) http://jaspercanadaday.com/

I can't compare it to Banff, since I have never been there on Canada Day but from what I have been able to google (krusty?), Banff offers similar celebrations. Here is an article from the Banff local newspaper about last year's celebrations: banffcragandcanyon.com/2012/06/27/banff-read…

JamesChoice, I do recommend the drive to Jasper, so that you can see the incredible Icefields Parkway! We usually recommend planning for a full day for this, though - driving time between the towns of Banff and Jasper is about 3.5 hours, and there are a lot of scenic stops you can make along the way for photo ops, attractions, and hikes ... glacial lakes, waterfalls, viewpoints with beautiful vistas, and the Columbia Icefields. So unless you have a VERY early start, you won't get to Jasper in time for the parade. So I would suggest enjoying your time on the parkway, and then partaking in the evening's celebrations.

The Canada Day long weekend is a very busy time in Jasper too - be sure to book well ahead of time.

Burlington, Canada
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4. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

Well there you go. A parade and all. I live in Southern Ontario and not one single town I know of, including Canada's largest city, has a parade. Some communites have fireworks and some street parties but nothing of any great significance. Have fun in Jasper.

Hervey Bay...
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5. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

I suppose I toss a coin and go with whichever option comes up. They both look like a great day and should be a lot of fun either way.

I currently live in a reasonably quiet coastal town and enjoy the crowds occasionally when I am on holidays so Banff could be fun. Big crowds only annoy me when I need to get things done, or during the day to day grind.

So does Canada have an traditional activities which people like to do on Canada Day??? For Australia day it is things like a BBQ on the beach or park, maybe head into the water with a big surf mat in the shape of a thong (of the flip flop variety). Play some touch footy or cricket at the park with anyone who wants to join in. But it usually (almost ALWAYS) involves a BBQ and and Esky with your favorite beverage.

Thanks for the responses so far, although I am no closer to my decision, and I am happy for any further advice...

Edmonton, Canada
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6. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

Well in Edmonton, there is the trek to watch the waterfall on the high level bridge and fireworks. It's a big celebration in Alberta, and if it's anything like new year's, Canada day will be alot of fun and attract a big crowd.

I love Banff, for it's night life. In Edmonton, people head to the parks for BBQ, or host BBQ's at their houses, followed by a firepit, or at least it's what most of my friends do.

In Banff, it's hard to tell, seeing as alot of the population is quite diverse. I would imagine heading out to the lake for the day is popular, or heading out to have a bbq in one of the campgrounds, followed by having some beers in a pub on Banff Avenue, followed by fireworks.

Jasper, Canada
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7. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

For a lot of residents of Banff and Jasper, busy long weekends are when you work. ;-) Most resort town jobs are not "Monday to Friday, 9 to 5"-type hours, and when the visitors are here is when businesses are busy and people are busy working. Here in Jasper, the Canada Day celebrations are put on mainly by volunteers, and volunteer groups, so a lot of people are busy "working" in that capacity too.

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8. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

Banff by far has the best CANADA DAY.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

Given the choice between Banff and Jasper I'd definately go for ........................Canmore !

Fun run in the morning, pancake breakfast, great parade, then marching band and highland dancing competitions in the park then a big party in the evening - see you there !

Rob

Saskatoon, Canada
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10. Re: Canada Day - Banff or Jasper?

what time do you need to save a seat on the sidewalk to watch the Banff parade, and where do they do the fireworks? would I be able to see them from the road by the tunnel mountain campground?