What better way to spend Canada Day than to gear up in a plastic T-rex costume and party down in 30-degree heat? That’s exactly what 1163 people decided to do when they descended on the town of Dundurn, half an hour south of Saskatoon, and Humboldt’s Wendy and Mike Bartsch were among them. 

As a matter of fact, people from all over the prairies, and apparently from around the world, heeded the call put out by owners of Big Mur’s Tavern, Gary and Sharon Grady. In an interview with CKOM’s Halyna Mihalik, Grady says he got the idea from a Tik Tok video of people dancing in dinosaur costumes. After a little online research, Grady found out he’d have to beat 380 scaly clad dancers, a feat pulled off by a group in Portland, Oregon, to claim a world record.  

For her part, Wendy Bartsch said the event was simply spectacular, and she was delighted to be part of it.  

“It was a smoking hot day, but no matter what with the heat and being in the costume and sweating, you barely noticed because the energy was just incredible,” said Bartsch. “Everybody was there to have fun; everybody had a mutual goal. It was such a great time.” 

Bartsch says she and her husband encountered people from the Yukon, Vancouver, and as far away as Wales in the tumult. Part of the fun was that everyone could be anonymous, and that let people dance, boogie and rock out as their prehistoric alter egos.  

“It kind of allowed people to loosen up and have fun. Everybody was high fiving each other in their suits. The spectators were clapping and laughing. Everyone had such a great time – it was an experience of a lifetime.”  

Bartsch heard about the event from a friend in Unity who had been following Grady’s social media campaign since the winter of 2022 when the idea first hatched. Between social media outreach, word of mouth, the networks of friends and families across the prairies, word got out and people like the Bartches responded en masse. Online retailers saw a run on dinosaur costumes in the winter months as planning progressed toward the big day. Planning on the part of the organizers was also one of the elements that impressed Bartsch about the event.  

It was so well organized. For that small of a town and Big Mur’s Tavern organizing it, it was so well put together. Everybody knew where they were supposed to be and when they were supposed to be there.” 

With over 1,000 pre-registrants, the Gradys and his staff and volunteers knew what was heading for them, and they committed themselves to making the event a safe and successful one for everyone involved. There was anticipation that the record-breaking event would be overwhelming in its numbers, but the pre-count didn’t spoil the delight when the dinosaur crowd took to the streets. 

“It was complete elation – everybody was whooping and hollering, dancing and cheering. Super excited.” 

Bartsch in hanging on to her dino costume in the event Grady and Big Mur’s Tavern tries to outshine this year’s celebration. After all, Bartsch says, “Who doesn’t need a dinosaur costume.”