Alberta beef and prairie potatoes, with a side of stomp.
This determinedly wholesomely offbeat business began as a father-and-sons country and western band. In the late 1980s, Lloyd Kunkel and family rented a barn near Hill Spring, shooed out the cattle and horses, and advertised old-fashioned barn dances and beef dinners for foothills locals.
In 1991, the Kunkels bought the barn and a large swath of the surrounding acres. As their reputation widened, customers started showing up in campers and trailers, seeking permission to remain overnight. Unexpectedly, the Great Canadian Barn Dance became a campers' resort.
Today, the barn includes a gift shop and tea room. Outside, there are 90 serviced camp sites and an artificial lake stocked with canoes and rowboats.
Full Description of Establishment
Friday nights, from mid-may to early October, feature the Western Legends Dinner Show. Triple-A Alberta roast is served with baked beans, homemade buns, coleslaw, and, of course, potatoes. Roast chicken is an option for those who think cattle are too cute to eat. The meal is followed by a country and western oldies performance by the Kunkel family musicians, all seven of them, ranging in age from nine to 75. The dinner show is by reservation.
Saturdays, from mid-may to early October, the meal is prelude to an old-fashioned barn dance. In July and August, the barn dance and dinner is offered Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
The campground offers full-service RV sites at $33-$38 per night, depending of whether you require 15 amp or 30 amp electrical power.
Non-serviced sites for RVs or tenters are $28.
There is a basket of special pricing bundles combining show events with camping fees.
For those looking for more comfort camping options, there are the Lodge Cottage, The Bed and Breakfast Lodge, and the Bunkhouse. Call for rates and details on these options or visit http://gcbd.ca/.
Explanation of Live Music Scene (if there is one)
From mid-May to the first weekend in October, there is a hearty menu of beef dinners followed by live performances of the Kunkel Family Band. In addition, there is a July bluegrass music festival, and an end-of-season Harvest Festival
In keeping with the area's prevailing Mormon religious and social culture, alcohol is neither offered nor permitted at meal and music events, ensuring that the experience remains comfortable for families and young people.
Casual Family Dining
Dinner and music events Friday and Saturday, and more often in mid-summer.
Seasons and Months Open
mid-May to first weekend of October
The Great Canadian Barn Dance and Campground is situated between Hill Spring and Glenwood, on Wynder Road, 1.5 miles north of its intersection with Secondary Highway 505.