Above: Hunter and Ivan Deveau on a day trip to see some of the province’s many roadside attractions.
by Stephen Dafoe
Alberta is full of roadside attractions, and many of them are nearby, making for an interesting day trip this summer. I took the trip outlined below on June 20, on the occasion of a friend’s 50th birthday. All distances are from the previous destination.
Redwater’s Giant Derrick
We set out for Redwater from Morinville early in the morning to see the town’s giant derrick, said to be the largest in the world.
Redwater’s original 45-meter Discovery Well derrick rises above the community and is well worth taking a look at up close.
The Our Lady of Lourde’s Shrine in Skaro is well worth a stop and a walk around.
The shrine was built by Polish settlers in 1919. A pilgrimage is held at the grotto in August of each year.
Andrew’s Giant Mallard
From Redwater, we set off for Andrew, Alberta, a village of 425 people.
Andrew is home to the World’s Largest Mallard. The one-tonne sculpture sits in Lion’s Park in Andrew, pointed towards the road with its 23-foot wingspan spread.
Mundare’s Giant Sausage and Encased Buffalo
Mundare is home to Stawnichy’s Meat Processing and also home to a gigantic replica of their product.
The giant kobasa, located at 5320 Sawchuk Street, stands 42 feet tall and is within walking distance of Stawnichy’s where you can take some of the real stuff home.
Sadly, an excellent little bakery in the town closed earlier this summer.
Also in the park is an encased bison sculpture. The sculpture was originally part of an Edmonton art project in the early 2000s.
Vegreville’s Giant Easter Egg
One of the best-known roadside attractions in the province is Vegreville’s Giant Pysanka, an elaborate rotating Ukranian Easter Egg. The egg measures 25.7 feet long, 18 feet wide, and stands 31 feet high on its pedestal.
Myrnam’s Miniature Church and Dove Park
Dove Park in the Village of Myrnam is designed to be a small oasis within the community. The park is preserved by the Myrnam Dove and Historical Society. Concerts are held in the small park.
Just inside the community is an Orthodox Church with a replica of itself in miniature.
Elk Point’s Peter Fidler carving
Peter Fidler was a Hudson Bay fur trader and surveyor. A statue in his memory was erected in 1992 on the occasion of the community’s bicentennial.
The wood sculpture stands 32 feet tall, and was carved by chainsaw in several places.
St. Paul’s UFO Landing Pad
The Town of St. Paul’s 130-tonne UFO Landing Pad is now more than a half-century old, opened in 1967 for Canada’s Centennial.
The landing pad also has an attached gift shop and an information centre below.
One of the interesting parts of the landing pad is a map of Canada made from stones from each of the provinces.
Glendon’s Giant Perogy
The Village of Glendon is home to 493 people and the World’s Largest Perogy on a fork.
The attraction was opened in 1992, stands 27 feet high, and weighs about 6000 pounds.
Vilna’s Giant Mushrooms
On the route back to Morinville is the Village of Vilna, a community of just under 200. The attraction is located in Mushroom Park, just off the village’s main street. The sculpture of three mushrooms stands 20 feet tall.
Smoky Lake’s Giant Pumpkins
Smoky Lake is well known for their Pumpkin Festival in the fall, but summer travellers can find a few attractions in the community.
Among them is a multi-coloured parade of combines, an old railway station and a sculpture of giant pumpkins.
The pumpkins stand 5 feet tall and weigh 12000 pounds.
Legal’s Francophone Murals and Giant Monument
A side trip to Legal on the trip home gives you the opportunity to view the murals that have made the community the Francophone Mural Capital of Canada.
In addition to the murals, there is a giant tin sculpture by the Mountain Meadows food plant by Highway 2.
At 20 feet wide and 30 feet tall, the work of art combines the welding and fabricating talents of Louis Forcade and his family with the painting skill of John Ellenberger to create a massive three-dimensional monument depicting the history of bilingualism and the history of French settlers and their relationship with the British.
The base of the map consists of a 20-foot wide map of Canada with the dates 1775 – 1778 and 1812 – 1814, war years when the Americans attempted to invade what would become Canada, only to be repelled by the French and English.