A haunted drive-in, a poetry festival and lots of turkey: Your guide to Calgary entertainment

Here’s a roundup of things to see and do on your Thanksgiving long weekend, brought to you by Ellis Choe of The Homestretch.

The Music Scene

The Devil’s Drive-In event promises to stalk, startle and terrify you, once you’ve parked and given up your keys for a seven-minute thrill show. (Haunted Calgary Productions)

National Music Centre continues its hybrid live music and virtual concert series, launching their classical music series this weekend.

On Sunday, local piano virtuoso Roman Rabinovich is scheduled to perform. He was the winner of the prestigious 2008 Rubinstein International Piano Competition.

But before that kicks off, you can catch Calgary rapper Sinzere perform live from the King Eddy Friday night.

Haunted Drive-In

This weekend, take in The People’s Poetry Festival. (Loft 112)

Haunted Calgary traditionally organizes a huge walkthrough haunted house experience, but because of COVID-19, they’re doing a scary drive-in experience instead.

Christine Campbell is the creative director.

“We actually have a series of seven events … each one is able to provide a private show for one vehicle,” Campbell said. “So basically the vehicle drives in, they stop, they turn off their engine and hand over the keys, actually, for safety.

“And then an approximately seven-minute show takes place all around them. So it’s kind of like a theatrical production or being dropped right into the middle of your own personal horror movie.”

That kicks off this Saturday, and goes every Friday and Saturday until Halloween. It takes place in the underground parkade of New Horizon Mall in Balzac, near CrossIron Mills mall.

Tickets were going so fast that Haunted Calgary added another show day on Oct. 25. 

For tickets, go to Haunted Calgary.

The People’s Poetry Festival 

Engine 2024 runs along Heritage Park’s mile-long track. After enjoying the park this weekend, you can also enjoy a turkey dinner. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

For something a little less scary, check out the People’s Poetry Festival, already underway.

The events are already sold out, but you can still visit the art exhibition included in the festival. It includes eight original art pieces created to reflect eight different poems by local poets.

There’s also an exhibit of more than 30 art installations created inside the drawers of a vintage card catalogue.

“One of my favourites, actually, is [a story box] called How COVID-19 Affected Our Family,” said Stacey Walyuchow with the festival. 

“And then another local artist … created one called the Reading Room, and she took old, discarded, damaged books and basically created this beautiful reading room out of all of these pieces, using these damaged books as sculpture.”

Tickets are $5 and you can go to Loft 112 for more information.

Explore with Jupiter Theatre

Jupiter Theatre has a digital audio theatre series called Explore, intended to explore the city through a theatre production in podcast form.

Andrew Cooper is the artistic producer of Jupiter Theatre.

“It’s designed to be listened to at a specific location in Calgary’s inner city,” Cooper said. “They’re fictional. It’s an anthology. So each episode is a standalone story with its own writer, director and actor team.”

The episodes themselves come from the location, like an area in the northeast and a ruin site in the southwest.

“The one that just came up this week is an Olympic Plaza, and the stories come from those locations — and then take a fantastic turn,” he said.

The latest episode, launched this week, is called Under the Plaza. To get the full experience, download the podcast and head to Olympic Plaza. The story was inspired by an unfinished tunnel beneath the plaza.

Each episode is 30 to 40 minutes long. You can find the podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. For more information, go to Jupiter Theatre.

Turkey without the cooking

There are a couple of nice family outings you can do that include a turkey dinner with no cooking or cleaning up.

You can spend the day at the Calgary Zoo and then sit down for their four-course turkey dinner at the Safari Lodge. Or,  order for curbside pickup.

Either way, that’s on Sunday. Doors open at noon and dinner starts at 6 p.m. sharp.  

Go to Calgary Zoo for more information.

You can spend the afternoon at Heritage Park this Saturday before they close for the season, and sit down for a turkey dinner there for $30.

Or, take in a Thanksgiving lunch on either Sunday or Monday for $15. If you prefer to dine at home, you can also order for curbside pickup.

Go to Heritage Park for more information.

With files from the The Homestretch.

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