I’ve lived in or around Ottawa most of my life, but I’d never seen the RCMP Musical Ride until last spring. My husband Dan and I decided to take our kids (our then two-year old daughter “B.G.” and three month old son “Bonhomme”) to the RCMP Sunset Ceremony at the Rockcliffe Stables.
The ceremony was slated to start at 7:30 p.m. and we arrived (later than planned, as usual!) at about 7:00 p.m. We managed to park on St. Laurent Boulevard, close enough to the stables so that BG was able to ride on Dan’s shoulders the rest of the way to the stables. We found a shady spot and set up our lawn chairs, and Bonhomme and I guarded our spot while Dan and BG went exploring. There were lots of displays to check out. Dan enjoyed sitting in an airplane cockpit (I think it had once been part of a fighter jet) and BG came back waving a poster and stickers she’d gotten from an RCMP officer.
The show began with a comedy routine, which I admit I wasn’t able to follow because we couldn’t see the whole ring, not to mention the fidgety three-year old sitting in my lap, asking question after question. Then we noticed an airplane circling above, and suddenly parachutists from the US and Canadian armies started dropping out of the sky. They circled so close overhead that we thought they would get caught up in the large tree that was providing our shade. Everyone around us laughed when an excited B.G. pointed to a parachute and shouted out, “Mommy, I want one of those!”.
After that came the marching band; that was also a huge hit with BG. Then, finally, the RCMP musical ride. I have to admit that by the time the ride started BG was done with the sunset ceremony, and we ended up leaving before it was over. But even though we didn’t get to the end, we had an amazing time. BG still talks about the parachutes!
The RCMP sunset ceremonies are back this year and run from Wednesday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 27th, from 7:30 to 9 pm .We’re planning on going back this year, but we’ll (hopefully) head out much earlier and bring a picnic supper, so that we can snag a spot a bit closer to the ring and keep both kids occupied until the show starts. Maybe this year I’ll manage to catch the whole show!
Josée is mom to three-year old daughter B.G., and one-year old son Bonhomme. She is always searching for fun and frugal Ottawa events and activities, and puts her research to good use at her website, www.frugalfunottawa.ca.