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Y A H O O!

A Stampede Selfie for your amusement

A Stampede selfie for your amusement

Well we did it folks!

Stampede 101 went off seemingly without a hitch, although I’ve heard it said that it’s sort of like when your in-laws visit – we kind of had to sweep some stuff under the rug and hope they don’t look too closely.

But from my vantage point the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition 2013 was a great success in spite of recent floods!

Not only did the show go on, but the Stampede raised over $2,000,000 through the sale of ‘Come Hell or High Water’  T-shirts in support of flood relief!

My BFF and I checked out the Stampede grounds on Thursday (Sneak A Peek night).  Admission was half price so a mere $8 got us in.

Sure the Saddledome was closed (with water levels still sitting at about the 8th row of seats)  and the lower level of the Big Four was closed, but other than that, it was business as usual.

My first stop was Lammle’s  to get a new Cowboy hat – featured in the selfie  above. (Last year’s hat grew bigger or my head shrank – I’m not sure which) 🙂

Then we checked out the midway where you can get anything you can imagine deep-fried including butter!  I didn’t try it but was super curious about how one would go about doing this, so this roving reporter (that be me)  had to check it out knowing you would want to know as well.

Deep-fried butter is made by coating frozen cubed butter with batter and deep-frying it. Mmmmm 🙂 not for this cowgirl!

The midway also housed all the rides. As a chicken (I’m not ashamed to say so)  I watched as others rode the incredibly frightful rides.

When it came time to eat, my BFF opted for deep-fried Mac -n- Cheese from one of the food trucks and I went for Poutine the food of my province of birth.

After a good {A-hem}  meal, it was time to check out the booths in the BMO Centre (Perfect timing as it had started to rain)

Always the question-asker –  I really can’t help it, I swear – I managed to (unintentionally)  piss off a few of the folks doing demonstrations of their products.

Like the guy who was selling mats to wipe your feet off on thus preventing people from dragging mud through the house; to which I asked why don’t you just take your shoes off? [insert chirping cricket here]

And the lady who was selling a 3-step jewelry cleaner and demonstrated it to us. I told her I had been looking for jewelry cleaner recently and when I couldn’t find any I googled it and came up with this 1-step baking soda, tin foil, boiling water thing, how cool is that? [Apparently it wasn’t that cool.]

I hadn’t noticed at the time, but they weren’t impressed with my helpful tips, or so my BFF gleefully told me later. I’m glad I’ve been able to be a constant source of entertainment for her over the years. [Can you see me roll my eyes?]

~

On Friday, the official start of Stampede 101, the Stampede parade took its usual route starting on 6th Ave. and finishing on 9th Ave. I think there were over 700 horses in the parade and lots of floats.

But here’s the exciting thing.

Guess who was this year’s Parade Marshall??

Give up???

It was Col. Chris Hadfield!!

You know?

The super cool Canadian Space Commander who tweeted from space!?!!

I gotta tell ya, between this and the brilliant organization of flood relief from the Mayor’s office and the selflessness of volunteers trudging through mud and water to help out, I was just brimming over with that Wild west Calgarian pioneer, Alberta Strong, Canadian spirit that says two World Wars and the Great Depression never caused us to cancel a Stampede so why should we let this flood do that’  pride!

Can’t you just see me with my hand on my chest, (IN A PATRIOTIC WAY!!!)  standing tall and proud?

Well there you have it – those are the two official events I took part in. The Stampede runs for 10 days in July every year and has been doing so since the first one in 1912.

This year over a million people came through the turnstiles. If you think of the Stampede grounds as a city, that would make it the 3rd largest city in Alberta.

One of my absolute favourite things about these 10 glorious days is how freakin’ good looking everybody becomes in cowboy gear. I’m thinking we outta seriously consider dressing this way every day of the year!

Well the Stampede ended on Sunday. Calgary is a bit quieter now. I have to admit I’m a bit sad about that. Many are back to wearing their fruit of the looms high up and their pants down low with the crotch somewhere around knee level. Alas, life is back to normal.

~

There is still a lot of work to be done to pick ourselves up after the flood. The true cost of all the damage may not be understood for years to come but I have no doubt our western pioneer spirit will triumph and together, just as in the days of old, we will come out stronger than before!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Col. Chris Hadfield’s version [performed in space]  of Space Oddity below.

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

What’s your favourite event in your city?

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