Tuesday, February 09, 2010

ABC Wednesday

D is for Drumheller and Dinosaurs

Drumheller and Dinosaurs go together like bees and honey. The town is located in the Canadian Badlands of southern Alberta, and the bones of the dinosaurs that once roamed here dream on in shallow graves, a hip bone sticking out here, a long bony toe searching its way out of the ground and massive footprints preserved for thousands of years.

Drumheller is named for Colonel Samuel Drumheller. The Colonel bought land a hundred years ago, in 1910, and started mining operations in 1911. Here he is in his Cadillac.

During the time when Coal was King Drumheller's population was more than 30,000 and it became a city in 1930. Now it contributes to a vibrant energy sector and has Alberta's second largest natural gas deposit, the West Drumheller Field.

In 1997 Drumheller dropped its City Charter and once again became a town, amalgamating at the same time with fourteen old adjoining residential mining communities.

The great deposits of coal in the vicinity led to the establishment of The Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller. While surveying for coal deposits Joseph Burr Tyrrell found the first dinosaur - a 70 million year old Albertosaurus. In 1985 the Museum was opened and is the only museum in Canada devoted to 4.5 billion years of the Earth's history. In the Dinosaur Hall a T-rex towers over a display of some thirty-five complete dinosaur skeletons.

You can go here, and here to learn more about this wonderful Museum, and about taking part in a dinosaur dig in the badlands surrounding Drumheller.

Within these Badlands is a wonderful natural amphitheater and each year for six days in July a dramatic portrayal of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is presented in the form of a Passion Play. In 2009 over 12,000 people attended this event.

When we visited Drumheller ten years ago we were impressed with the Royal Tyrrell Museum, but moved to tears by this presentation. The acoustics are beyond splendid; the music and sets and costumes and the performance of the hundreds of local volunteers is remarkable and one can feel the spirit and heart and passion that is put into it. It is a three hour performance, with a twenty-minute intermission, but to the audience sitting on bleachers (take a cushion) it was absorbing and time passed almost too quickly.

Learn more about this marvelous Canadian Passion Play here.

For more information and entertaining D's visit ABC Wednesday here.


Reader Wil said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. The passion play is very moving and the music is wonderful. It sounds like Celtic music. Thanks for your visit to my Wall of Stories.

Jay said...

The amphitheatre is most impressive and is clearly an ideal location for the Passion Play, but it's the dinosaurs which captured my interest! I'd love to come visit and see them!

Manang Kim said...

So that is the first cadillac ^_^ I wonder if it is winter if they still drive that one. ^_^

D is for Dad

Pam said...

The passion play you shared was wonderful and the photo of the dinosaur is great.

RuneE said...

That was an interesting post if I have ever seen one. I must admit that I fell for the combination of coal-field and dinosaurs. Ver specual.

Mara said...

I would love to see those dinosaur footprints some day. I bet they look fantastic!

Joy said...

Looks like a fabulous place and it would be fascinating to be part of a dinosaur dig. Great post.

Troy said...

I always love it when I can be both entertained and educated at the same time.

Great post! Fascinating!


Roger Owen Green said...

Love the dinosaur.

Did not know there was a Passion Play like that in North America, I know there's one in central Europe, which I thought to go to someday. Alberta may be easier.

On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you!

Snowbrush said...

I sure would love to visit that museum--and those Badlands.

Congratulations on your 64th. My wife and I celebrated our 38th on December 19.

Lisa said...

Sounds like a fascinating place. I'd love to see the Passion Play there. That would be spectacular. Thanks for introducing me to a new place.

Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful post! Impressive place, for sure. I'd be excited to see it.