For the longest time we knew very little about the Town of Okotoks beyond the fact that the Costco there was in many ways more “enjoyable” to shop at when compared to the Calgary location. Inspired by a beautiful Remembrance Day observance we decided to explore a little more of what the Town had to offer. It seemed fitting that this exploration was going to coincide with a return visit by our very first house guests … Mom and Dad Green, who you may remember from some of our earliest Alberta Adventures like the Hoodoos, Drumheller, and of course the authors of the first Exploring Alberta Guest Post Frank Slide and Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump . Intending to avoid the discomfort of the extreme cold they experienced in their first visit to Alberta in February, they booked their flights to arrive in balmy November instead!
Unpacked and settled with one good night sleep under their belts we all loaded into the car late morning and headed south to Okotoks. First stop in Okotoks … food. Having always been lovers of international foods and in particular Pho, we checked a few reviews online and decided on the popular Pho Hoai Vietnamese Beef Noodle House. We were all quite pleased with both the service and the food and will definitely return to eat there again.
With satiated bellies we set off to visit the Okotoks Museum and Archive which was established in 2000 and according to their website, is devoted to preserving artifacts and archival resources and celebrating the stories of Okotoks’ past. The small but very well laid out museum offered an amazing glimpse of early life in the area.
Upstairs there was an exhibit that was a cumulative collection that followed the battles of World War I. The start of this exhibit was in August 2014, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the start of the war. As explained by the curator, each month the exhibit expands and follows the significant events and battles as well as the roles Okotoks residents played in the war. It was captivating to read about the events of the war and the personal connections with Okotoks and the Foothills area. The exhibit will continue till November 2018.
As we exited the museum a storefront sign across the road caught our attention and drew us in to the amazing Rumpled Quilt Skins shop. The store was captivating, showcasing a Christmas display, amazing quilts, old sewing machines amongst colour-rich fabrics and an assortment of incredible quilt patterns. Grandma Straus used to hand make quilts the “old school” way so we had a full appreciation for this art form and fell in love with this shop instantly. It is a must see for those visiting Okotoks.
We continued to wander into a few shops as the afternoon turned into evening and after stopping for a fantastic coffee/hot chocolate at the Home Ground Coffee and Roasting Shop we were told of an annual event called Light Up Okotoks which just happened to be held on the 3rd Friday in November each year. The event kicks off the Christmas season throughout downtown core. Considering how lovely the day in Okotoks had been it was unanimous that we would return the next day to partake in the festival!