Shady Grove Bluegrass Festival
An annual three-day event featuring bluegrass music. Held at Broadway Farms, about 8 miles east of Nanton. This has been held for seventeen years now and has developed a serious following of loyal bluegrass music enthusiasts.
Weekend passes can be purchased in advance.
Camping is available onsite.
Celebrating their 17th season this year. (2006)
- Family Travel
Seriously Gone Trucking Annual Poker Run & Ride
This bike run is held annually just south of Nanton, on the weekend before the Labour Day weekend, which for 2007 will be August 24-26th. The 2005 run saw approximately 120 bikes turn out for the event, while there were about 85 bikes at the 5th annual event in 2006.
Entry fee for 2006 was $35. This got you entrance to the event, a Seriously Gone Poker run t-shirt, camping for the weekend, and Saturday night's catered pig roast dinner and outdoor dance and bonfire. A live band performed both Friday and Saturday night. Those wishing to participate in the poker run paid an additional fee for this portion of the event.
The day starts in Okotoks, Alberta. Participants meet at the Willy at 11:00 am to get their first poker card, t-shirt and wristband. The next stop is the Black Diamond Hotel, for card #2 and a brief rest for the riders. From Black Diamond, we head south on the cowboy trail to the historic Longview Hotel, for our third stop. Following our stop in Longview, participants continue south on highway 22 to Chain Lakes, and then east on secondary highway 533 to Nanton and then south to the Stavely Hilton, for card #4. The final card is drawn at the Auditorium Hotel in Nanton.
The Auditorium did an outstanding job with sponsorship for 2006. The street along the hotel was reserved for bike parking only. The Saturday night band started playing at 4:00 to entertain the riders.
The 2006 meal was served at 7:00 at the camping site just south of town. It was catered by Chuck Wagon Cuisine and included roast pig, corn on the cob and several salads. Following dinner, there was live entertainment all evening featuring Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters. These guys are great and can really rock.
All proceeds from this event are donated to a local charity. 2005's lucky recipient was the local scouting group, and the high school band was the lucky recipient for 2006.
UPDATE: This wonderful little party, sadly, is no more..... :(
- Road Trip
Nanton Golf Club
You can enjoy a round of golf at our 18-hole championship course, with a magnificent view of Nanton's foothills landscape. Its beauty and challenge attract a steady stream of golfers from Calgary and nearby communities.
They have a pro onsite throughout the season and offer lessons for all ability levels.
- Women's Travel
Tom Hornecker Recreation Centre
The rec centre in Nanton is newly renovated and is a really great facility. It offers a variety of activities, there's something for everyone:
There is a skating rink where you can go ice skating and figure skating. There is almost always a hockey game happening during the winter. There is also a ringette league in town. The curling rink offers a variety of different curling leagues to belong to and hosts bonspiels throughout the winter. (The most popular of our bonspiels is the "Meat Spiel", held every year in March. No, that's not a typo, it's really called the Meat Spiel. Only in Alberta..... it's okay, I really don't get it either!)
The outdoor pool offers summer fun, swimming lessons, aquasize, and public and adult swimming times.
There is also a racquetball court and a concession stand that is open year round.
The gun club is open to the public on Tuesday nights and for the princely fee of $2.00 non-members can practice shooting and the members will even offer you a few tips for free.
The rec centre also handles the rental of the four baseball diamonds and beach volleyball courts, located across the street from the rec centre.
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
Nanton is home to more than 10 antique stores. While in town, participate in the self-guided "Antique & Art Walk of Alberta". Even many of the buildings downtown are original, some are on the National Historic Register. But there's more to Nanton than antiques!
Downtown, you will find the Willow Creek Forge, which is home to some absolutely fabulous black iron art work and other treasures. The owners have won awards for the best retail window displays in previous years, as well as being the winner of the international blacksmith competition at the 2002 Calgary Stampede. The store features the work of several blacksmiths.
There are 2 western-style decor shops and several gift stores on Main Street. There is also a candy store. They have a huge selection of sweets, including sugar-free selections. Some of the items there I haven't seen since my childhood! Then there's the Christmas Store, which features hundreds of Christmas ornaments, on sale year round. They also sell high-end chocolates, which are delicious!
Nanton is also famous as the home of Nanton Spring Water and Tiger Mushroom Farms. Both products are available in the local grocery store. The green house, (Paradise Hills Farm) just east of town, sells pesticide-free tomatoes and other produce and also has a farm store onsite. Their sun-dried tomatoes are great! Sun Prairie Mills offers stone-ground flours and baking mixes.
Finally, Cowboy Country Clothing is just the place to get your western wear! (On the north-bound lanes of #2 highway.) They have cowboy hats, jeans, boots, even saddles. It's a perfect shopping stop if you're enroute to the Calgary Stampede.
- Arts and Culture
Big Sky Garden Railroad
Ultimate Trains, in Nanton, is a vendor of toy trains of all shapes and sizes.
They are also home to the Big Sky Garden Railway. This is a HUGE display of 18 guage trains, covering over 7000 square feet.
The store is open year round, and the Garden Railway is open May through September, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm daily.
- Family Travel
Lancaster Air Museum
The air museum houses one of the few remaining intact Lancaster Bombers. There are also several other smaller planes and plane pieces to see. They have one of the sets of sketches done of "The Great Escape". (from a Nazi POW camp.) This is a great stop for aircraft enthusiasts.
Admission is by donation.
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel