When I was a teenager, I took a trip with the marching band to Canada to experience the Calgary Stampede -- a rodeo, stage show, fair, and (my favorite) chuckwagon races.

We marched in the Calgary Stampede parade and later gambled with rolls of nickels during the chuckwagon races.

We also got to experience Edmonton and the Banff Ice Fields and other natural wonders in Western Canada ... and somewhere along the way I developed a soft spot, a love even, for the Canadian people. I mean, they're so freakin' nice!

So on this day, Canada Day, I tip my touque to all the Canadians and offer them some back-bacon and a plate of poutine.

Here's some Canada Day history (courtesy Brittanica.com):

  • Canada is the National Holiday of Canada, celebrating the country's independence from the United Kingdom (sort of)
  • "Sort of" because they still acknowledge the UK as their mother country and love the Royal Family, but Canada is an independent country now.
  • There are 101 Canadian companies in Utah, employing about 4,000 Utahns.
  • It's about 900 miles from Salt Lake City to Calgary, and around 1,350 from St. George to Edmonton.
  • Foods such as bannock (skillet bread), moose, deer, bison, pemmican, maple taffy, and Métis stews, such as barley stew, are all either traditional Indigenous foods, or originate from Canada with roots in Indigenous cuisines, and are eaten throughout the country.
  • Obviously stereotyping a whole country of people is not wise, but generally speaking Canadians are polite, love hockey and beer, apologize a lot, and don't mind the cold.
  • Canada only has 38.9 million citizens, but boasts the largest population of moose in the world.
  • Toronto, at 2.7 million people, is the largest Canadian city, followed by Montreal (where they speak French) with 1.7 million and Calgary with 1.24 million.
  • Canada consistently ranks among the­ most educated countries in the­ world. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Deve­lopment (OECD), over 56% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 have­ completed some form of post-se­condary education.
  • While Canada is not among the top 10 countries in the world, population-wise, our friends north of the border are the second-largest nation in the world in land mass, behind only Russia (China is third and the United States is fourth).
  • Canada is the No. 1 producer of maple syrup in the world.
  • Canadians have a strong affinity for macaroni and che­ese. In fact, they consume 55% more mac and cheese­ per person than their neighbors in the United States.
  • The Trans-Canada highway is an impre­ssive road with a total length of about 7,821 kilometers about 4,860 miles). It goes from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast.

Oh, and here are a few Canada Day jokes from BoredPanda.com:

  • Every time I hear a mean joke about being Canadian, I go to the hospital and get my feelings checked for free.
  • In Canada the seasons are, almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
  • There will be point in the future when Canada will take over the world. And then you will all be sorry.
  • 50% of Canada is the letter A (which is why they say "eh" a lot)
  • Do you know why there's not much boxing in Canada? Every time there's a fight in the ring, a hockey game breaks out.
  • A Scottish man walks into a bar in Canada. He noticed there is an animal's head hanging on the wall and asked the bartender what is it. "A moose" replied the bartender. "Geez! How big are the cats here?" Said the Scot.
  • Canada could have had it all: American industry, British Culture, and French Cuisine. Instead, they got: French Industry, American culture, and British cuisine.
  • How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb? None — they accept things the way they are (and then apologize to the light bulb).
  • Why is maple syrup always so sad? Because it’s sappy.

Happy Canada Day!

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