Red Bull Crashed Ice is heading to Edmonton from March 9-10, and you don't want to miss out on this party. If you and some friends are making a trip to Edmonton for this, you’ve probably started to think about what your entire weekend will look like. Whether you head up to Edmonton often or you’re new to the city, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time in Alberta's Capital.
What to Pack?
The first thing to keep in mind is that the main event will be outdoors and you'll be standing for most of it. Don't worry though, you'll be too busy watching the main event to feel too tired. Dressing for an outdoor party is always a little tricky. I’d say to keep your eye on the weather forecast, but I have major trust issues with the weather man. Instead, make sure you have a bunch of layers ready to go. Remember, you’ll be outside for a long period of time, and once the sun goes down, it feels a few degrees colder. You’ll also want to wear some warm and comfortable footwear. There is still snow on the ground and if it warms up, there's bound to be some slushy areas. No one likes wet socks, so waterproof footwear could make a big difference!
Where to Stay?
The Matrix Hotel is a few blocks from the event site, but you’ll be closer to the downtown nightlife. You’re a block away from a number of bars, pubs, and restaurants on Jasper Ave. If you want to get even closer to the action, you could get a room at the Hyatt Place. It’s one of the newest hotels in Edmonton and the start of the course is right outside it’s front door. You’ll be right in the middle of all the action.
What to Do?
Red Bull Crashed Ice will fill your evenings, but what about the rest of your time in Edmonton? You’ll probably be all amped up and wanting to use those wings that you’ve been gaining on the trip. If you want to experience some ridiculous speeds going downhill, head to Gallagher Park (9505 96 Avenue) with a toboggan. As an added bonus, you’ll have an amazing view of the downtown skyline and will be able to see the course from the other side of the river. If you’re looking for something slightly slower, then get your skate on at the Victoria Park Oval (12030 River Valley Road) or Hawrelak Park (9330 Groat Road). Victoria Oval has a 400m track and an awesome IceWay. After a few laps, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the Olympic speed skating team. If that isn’t enough for you, head to Revolution Cycle or River Valley Adventure to rent a fatbike and explore the trails in the river valley. With so many winding paths, you’ll forget you’re still in the middle of the city.
Where to Eat?
Anytime you’re burning that much energy, you’re going to need to refuel. With so many amazing restaurants in the city, you really can’t go wrong. That being said, this is a road trip, and you’re likely going to want to eat either pizza or tacos. Holy Roller is one of the city’s newest pizza joints. Their Detroit-style pizza is the perfect mix of a soft yet crispy crust. And, if pizza isn’t your thing (...are you sure?), you can head next door to El Cortez for some tacos and tequila. I’d also recommend having their cauliflower as a starter.
If you run out of time for a snack, there will be food trucks and beer gardens on site, but you won’t be able to bring anything in.
Before you head back on the road, make a stop at District Café for breakfast (or lunch depending on how late your night was) and some coffee. I’m a big fan of the breakfast bowl, as well as the toasted marshmallow rice crispy square.
Buy your tickets online so you don’t get stuck waiting in line. It’ll be worth it when you’re trying to get to the spot you want to watch from. Speaking of, make sure to check out the course map in advance. While there are no bad seats (because there are no seats), it’s always good to know where the interesting course elements are. I don’t know where the best spot to see the 100 ft jump is, but that’s where I’ll be.