Thank you Hans & Colleen of Schwormstede Funny Farm for making it possible to bring this event to Carseland!
Thank you Ride Dogs Ride team of Family & Friends for working so hard!
3 nights and 4 days of constant entertainment that anyone can enjoy!! This was the most action packed and entertaining event I have ever been to ….in my life!!! I was completely blown away, my feet hurt from walking campsite to campsite and visiting Carselander’s, visitors and friends.
My stomach aches from laughing and my voice is lost, probably out somewhere in Funny Farm Fields from all the singing, hooting and hollering. Very enlightening and enjoyable weekend!
I highly suggest attending next year and better yet, if you want to REALLY be part of the fun? Volunteer! Ride Dogs Ride is an amazing team to work with and wow they can work!
This event was massive! With only 2 months to plan and implement, this would seem impossible to many but not the Garland’s, not their team, Since Glen Garland “Guido’s” passing, and his children have put 200% of themselves into this event and never did I see them complain. Still, there were many stressful moments but never a sense of doubt between them suggesting it could not be done at all. “If there is a will, there is a way”
Calgary Herald did a clip video showing some of the heart that went into this event.
Friday! Opening Night!
There was a nice steady flow of trailers pulling into camp, Pre-Registration had a line up and there were already over a dozen campers not including the volunteer’s & family trailers. It was very promising, especially with some travelers coming from surrounding provinces.
The BBQ that night was fantastic and there was plenty for everyone, in fact not once did Ride Dogs Ride run out of food all weekend. Not only was food always available but water, pop & juice was provided for guests to stay hydrated for the weekend. What better way to keep your guests healthy and safe throughout the party!
Friday night I had the opportunity to sit around a campsite with Stuart Macleod, his awesome wife Maria & their friends. What a treat to listen to them sing and play in the evening light, it truly reminded me of home.
Great people to hang out with and it was so sweet of Maria and Stuart to lend me his jacket for the long walk to my trailer on the other side of the property…….but of course leave it to me, I had to go and lose the jacket! So if anyone sees a gray and white stripped winter jack with lining…..please let me know!
Stuart Macleod’s new C.D was released on Saturday during the event, highly anticipated for his feature song “Ridin With Me” a tribute song Stuart wrote for a fallen friend the previous year.
“Ridin With Me” was sang during “Guido’s” Funeral and has struck a chord with many, Stuart is a Very Talented Artist! $5.00 of the first 500 C.D’s sold will go to the Ride Dogs Ride fund in raising money for Calgary Humane Society. Dice Lady’s Deals in Carseland has 20 in stock right now for purchase, but they won’t last!
Saturday breakfast was scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausage with coffee, juice, fruit and a full spread & something for everyone. Registration followed with around 300 entries into the Poker Run.
They all lined up waiting for the go and wow what a sight it was to see, the amount of money, thought & creativity that went into these bikes could easily been seen & left me speechless at their beauty.
One bike just amazed me, because as rider & bike drove by in my favorite light pastel green, it looked as though both bike and rider were hovering through the field completely unmoved by any holes in the grass, all you could see was the tires moving, and nothing else….unreal!
When the run began, there was the most important piece to the event, “Guido’s” bike. There is a story to this bike & it is very special, this custom bike arrived too late, but the Garlands were not about to let it miss the run.
Munden Garland led the way in Guido’s truck with his dad’s beautiful bike on the back for everyone to see. Guido’s wife Diana Garland sat on the back of the bike and prepared everyone for the ride by revving the engine and electrifying the crowd through Funny Farm fields until reaching the highway & beginning the journey.
The Bike Games Rocked Me! The announcer “Stoney” was positively a colorful incentive to contestants and a great mediator for discrepancies. Awesome job Stoney, you kept me laughing the entire time.
It was so hard to hold the camera through my laughter! My favorite game was “Honey I am Home!” let me explain in case you have never seen this;
There is 2 teams of 2 couples, each team stands in front of a makeshift window sill, each couple begin to kiss and caress one another until the bell has rang & the announcer yells “HONEY I’M HOME!”
One of each couple must then pull on a pair of underwear and their boots, jump through the window sill & start their bike. First person cross the finish line wins and doesn’t get a “beat” from the “honey home”. Pretty creative game! Extremely entertaining!
I can’t tell you the rest of the games, but it was well worth the $20 weekend pass, which also including the food I mentioned above, oh yah and 3 nights camping I might add.
So after the bike games, surprise, surprise! A wedding ceremony before dinner! The bride came out in a stunning gown with black lacing that accented perfectly! Crowds filled the seating area and lined the outer fence to watch as the gorgeous couple pledge their vows of love to one another, it was beautiful to see.
Dinner was fabulous and a great meal for the heat, deep fried chicken chilled with buns and salad sides! It was better than KFC! Right from one feature to the next, FFOT gets on stage and kick starts the crowd. Great voice and good genre everyone seemed to really enjoy, I like the harmonica solo best & had goose bumps the whole time the lead singer played it.
Next to entertain the crowd was of course the infamous Stuart Macleod of Lethbridge Alberta, he as always tantalized the crowd with his infectious rhythm and rustic sound. When the song “Ridin With Me” came on I instantly shed tears when I saw Diana Garland, “Guido’s” loving wife run up to the dance floor with her daughter Laura Garland. One by one, as Stuart sang, Diana danced with each of her beautiful daughters & son, it touched my heart and soul.
Cake Inspirer created a lovely “In Memory of Guido” cake for the Garland’s, after their dance it was time to cut that cake and just like everything else, they did it together, no matter how awkward. One cutting knife does not work with 6 hands too well but the Garland’s make it work and always get the crowd laughing. 🙂 When it was all cut, a sweet woman in blonde hair walked the crowd handing out pieces and made sure everyone had a piece, she was so endearing.
Next up was “Marija & The Shadowstalk” feature of the night and WOW did she ever put on a performance! She does a great job of working you up into the hard core “Let’s Rock” mode, building you up over time until even you can’t resist the floor!
This woman can work a crowd! I had shivers when she played Metallica and sang with her arm out to the crowd “Taaaaake my hand!” She really meant it and when everyone began to take turns grabbing her hand I felt like she was about to take us on a musical journey to “ROCK HARD LAND!”
During a quick break, Marija came over and requested a photo with the Carselander’s, That got us all really excited! Loved how she kept checking the digital picture to make sure she got the photo exactly how she wanted. Have to say it was also super sweet when she asked levi ( a local Carselander) to take a pic with her & asked him to kiss her on the cheek, that I thought was so cool of her & she did it just out of fun.
Check out her site for a song clip of her new release “Human Again” 🙂
I had such a late night Friday that I had to crash before her sets were done, but I sure enjoyed falling to sleep in the trailer, to the sounds of Marija and her hard core late night set.
Sunday morning there was still time for lots of fun in the sun! The Kids Carnival, which I am told was organized by Jennifer Garland and at times was called Jennifer’s Carnival, was finally here!
Jennifer was the perfect person for the job because it was a huge success and even a few people in the Agrium property came over to compliment the attraction and the diversity of games for everyone.
“This is better than Strathmore Stampede” – says local Carseland resident of over 20 years.
I too was amazed by the carnival, first the carnival was included in your $20 ticket to the event, only the dunk tank cost money & each of the free” games provided tickets. You even received tickets for trying, kids did not have to win a game in order to earn tickets, and they just had to play.
Tickets were later used to purchase huge stuffed animals, planes and other toys that all the kids had fun with, so it was very easy on the parent’s pocket.
Some volunteers thought it would be best to test out the equipment before opening, bounce houses and dunk tank, it was a lot of fun to see the big kids at play! Specially to watch a grown man bounce down the house slide laughing hysterically and having a blast! Made me want to “Test” it out too. 🙂
The concession was too yummy! Around 11 the concession opened and MMMmmmmm! Hot dogs were $1, Cotton Candy was $1…….everything was $1! I spent $20 on food alone ha ha ha the popcorn was so fresh and made to order, loved it, couldn’t resist! I only bought 3-7 bags of it. 🙂
I liked how the volunteers let the kids add their own syrup to their snow cone, under super vision of course but every volunteer attending the concession or games were so nice and made strangers feel like friends, they really got the kids laughing and having fun with everything.
I thought after the carnival our weekend was about to end, little did I know there would be an amazing after party Sunday Night. Thank You everyone at the after party for allowing me to take pictures, I may not remember everyone’s name, but I won’t forget the sound of your voices and your friendly cheers to all our good friends the Garland’s!
Absolutely Fantastic Weekend!
“Guido” had integrity and while he was lead coordinator for the 2013 Poker Run he still bought his own ticket. Daphne Garland, his oldest daughter asked that everyone do the same, whether you were a volunteer, an organizer or part of the show everyone was still required to purchase a ticket. I have the outmost respect for this level of integrity and had no problem paying my $20.
Tickets included 4 days of camping ( a $100 value ), a Ride Dogs Ride T-Shirt ( a $10 value ), Saturday Dinner ( $25 value ), access to all the bands, cheap drinks and wicked bike game entertainment! Now where on earth will you get all that for $20!
Thank you Ride Dogs Ride for putting in so much work to make an affordable and extremely entertaining weekend! I am inspired by your perseverance, touched by your story and determined to show others how with a positive spirit and determination even the impossible can be achieved.
You did it Garlands’s & friends! 20 hour work days, 2 months of no weekends off, constant pressure to finalize all paperwork, continuous stress trying to get everything done in time…wow!…..Never have I seen a team of people come together so efficiently to accomplish the infeasible. I hope all of you are proud of your hard work and understand that the average team would never made it past the 3rd week!
Very enriching experience, thank you all for allowing me to listen, share and be a part of this wonderful adventure. Can’t wait for next year!
There is so much more to this story, so we are putting together a video to share with everyone. Stay tuned for the movie and keep your eye on the Facebook Page 🙂
Thank you everyone!