Family Day on Bowness Lagoon

In 1990, the province of Alberta proclaimed the first "Family Day" holiday in Canada -- a chance to get together and, hopefully, get outside with the family for a mid-winter break.


In Calgary, a good place to get together is Bowness Park.  In summer months, it's an amusement park where you can rent canoes, go for a ride on a miniature railway, or enjoy the kiddy rides.  In winter the lagoon of the Bow River is maintained as a skating rink.


The rules prohibit hockey sticks.  But no one seems to mind when the hockey stick is used to carry a flag.


This year, the temperatures across Alberta dipped to minus-20 during Family Day, but by noon, there were lots of people braving the cold for an outing on the lagoon.


Park staff kept the flames going at rinkside fire pits.


This was well appreciated by those of us thrawn enough to be skating with bare knees.


Among the people who were curious about the kilt and the saltire was young Josh.


He and his mom, Gabi, his Dad, Mike, and his sister, Emily, and brother, Noah, have recently moved to Calgary from Brazil -- Gabi's native country, where Mike worked in the oil industry.


Seven-year-old Noah isn't in that picture. He was too busy teaching older boys how to skate.  Emily's favourite pastime was to be swung around in circles on the ice. 


Josh, on the other hand, liked nothing better than to be skating as fast as he could with a saltire flapping in the wind.


By noon, it was time to go home -- or to whatever new adventures the family had planned for Family Day.

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Altogether a great place to be for Family Day.

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