The speakers above the arena are one of the few indications that you’re still in the 21 st century. Music fills the air, a soundtrack of old-timey tunes with military flair that lend an aura of pomp and circumstance to the occasion. All at once there they are, a troop of horses and riders in scarlet regalia, trotting proudly into the ring to the beat of a drum and the call of a trumpet. They begin to circle, picking up the pace, and then without missing a beat, move effortlessly into their first formation. It’s quite a show – gorgeous animals and confident leaders who guide them easily into place to the cheers and applause of an appreciative crowd. It’s amazing to think that this glorious tradition has been happening at the Fort for almost 140 years. Times change, but some things are certainly worth preserving.
The Fort Museum of the Northwest Mounted Police is the most visited attraction in Fort Macleod, attracting upward of 25,000 visitors every year. Four times daily between
July 1st and towards the end of August, the Fort puts on a traditional musical ride that showcases the skills Mounted Police have practiced and employed for more than a century – a tribute to the scarlet wave of law enforcers that settled the west in 1874.
In addition to the musical ride, the museum is home to a number of fascinating displays, photographs, and artifacts that bring the experience of early outpost living to life.