Literally, if you walk outside you hear a buzz. No I haven't started bee keeping, It's the sound of the Indy cars. Not sure if the folks that live on the south side of Edmonton can hear them but on the north side, it sounds like thousands of bee hives in my backyard.
Right now we have the Rexall Edmonton Indy taking place in our fine city. The race takes place at our city center airport and along with Capital-EX (our yearly fair/exhibition), it brings a whole lot of tourists to the city. When I owned Santannas Night-Club, I used to hate the Capital-Ex (back then it was called Klondike Days) as it would just take the population of the city and direct them into the city core. That used to hurt business big time for those of us on not near the EX. I was quite jealous of our rival city to the south as the Calgary Stampede draws people from all over the world and we'd hear stories about how much busier the night-clubs got during their EX. Well times have changed, although I'm not in the club scene any more, it's nice to see how many tourists Edmonton is drawing in with all the summer activities we offer. The Indy race would have to be the biggest draw but we also have festival after festival running right through the summer. Edmonton is actually known as Festival City and the biggest festival of the summer would have to be our Fringe. The Edmonton Fringe is the largest and oldest Fringe Festival in North-America and features more than 140 un-juried and un-censored shows from around the world. A little secret for you; I've never gone. Maybe this year though.
So last night my wife and I took my youngest daughter (Hunter) to Capital-Ex. On our way to Kiddy Land, we stopped at the Chilkoot Gold Mine and helped Hunter pan for gold. She ended up with one small gold nugget and placed it in the bag they provided. She was all smiles and it brought back some of my own memories when I was a kid and panned for gold at that very same place with my mom and dad. We made our way to Kiddy Land and bought Hunter the all-ride wrist band and since last year I got to enjoy all the kiddy rides, this year it was my wife's turn. The line-ups were long but Hunter had a lot of fun and it was all worth it to see her smiles. While we were waiting in the line for the kiddy roller coaster, I ventured over near the ED Fest stage where a band was playing. I took a couple photos and then noticed a couple of black SUV's parked behind me with cop cars surrounding it. I thought to myself; "who would be here that's important enough to need that kind of security?" Then it dawned on me. GENE SIMMONS! Gene was asked to be the Marshall of the Rexall Edmonton Indy. Now this all kind of ties in you see, 'cause my first memory of going to and exhibition was the Red River EX in Winnipeg when I was nine. There were many games of chance with the prizes being posters of the "new" band Kiss. I wanted a poster so bad (even though I never knew who they were) and although I tried, I just couldn't win a poster. I never even heard one of their songs before but starting right then and there, I was a huge Kiss fan . Of course as I got older I not only filled my room with Kiss posters but had every album they ever made and even purchased the solo albums (Paul and Chris's albums sucked but I listened to them anyway). If you were ever a Kiss fan right now you'd be asking yourself, "Doc who was your favorite?" ('casue every guy had a favorite and probably dressed up like him at least once for Halloween, five Halloweens for me). And my favorite was Peter Chris. My three best friends were also huge kiss fans, Brad was Paul Stanley, Grant was Ace Frehley and Dave was Gene Simmons. So back to the EX. I peaked over the fence and there he was standing under a tent. I tried to get some pics of him but they turned out way to fuzzy. So I waited (more and more cops were showing up so I knew it wouldn't be long) for about 20 mins and he finally came out of the fenced off area. I tried my best to get some good pics but I only got one decent shot and he wasn't facing me. I soooo need a digital SLR! So I made my way over to the wife and daughter who were just getting off the ferriswheel and I told them all about it. We then continued on and enjoyed more rides, the nightly fireworks display and lots of exhibition food.
I know this has absolutely nothing to do with fly-fishing. But sometimes life gets in the way of fly-fishing, and sometimes that's good. Sometimes.