Friday March 2nd, 2012 - Travel Alberta and The Anaheim Ducks hosted Stampede Day outside the North doors of The Honda Center, celebrating 100 years of the Calgary Stampede experience. Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values.
The ten-day event, which bills itself as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world's largest rodeos, parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, chuckwagon racing, and First Nations agricultural competitions. The event's roots are traced to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair. Organized by thousands of volunteers and supported by civic leaders, the Calgary Stampede has grown into one of the world's richest rodeos, one of Canada's largest festivals and a significant tourist attraction for the city.
Patrons were encouraged to Dress, Dance, and Ride together in true Stampede fashion with the opportunity to win an amazing 3-day trip for two to the 2012 Calgary Stampede. Attendees enjoyed the Beer Garden, Barbeque, Midway games, Photo Booth, and an opportunity to show off their Bull Riding skills on the mechanical bull. Event highlights included Line Dancing with Go Country 105’s Shawn Parr and In Cahoots, and an appearance by the Calgary Stampede Queen and her court, who were lovely and charming, and whose infectious smiles lit up the event.
Travel ALberta and The Anaheim Ducks brought local Canadian and hockey fans together at The Honda Center to experience the sights and sounds of the Calgary Stampede from 5:00p.m. - 7:00 pm. Patrons were encouraged to Dress, Dance, and Ride together in true Stampede fashion with the opportunity to win an amazing 3-day trip for two to the 2012 Calgary Stampede.
Attendees enjoyed the Beer Garden, Barbeque, Midway games, Photo Booth, and an opportunity to show off their Bull Riding skills on the mechanical bull. Event highlights included Line Dancing with Go Country 105’s Shawn Parr and In Cahoots, and an appearance by the Calgary Stampede Queen and her court, who were lovely and charming, and whose infectious smiles lit up the event.
Capping off the Stampede pre-game festivities was a private performance by singing/songwriting sensation Jason Greeley. Jason was a Top 4 contender on “CTV’s Canadian Idol” out of over 9,000 hopefuls across Canada, and returned home a hero. With that success came the release of Greeley’s debut album, “Live, Love, Sing”. The album includes a single co-written with Idol judge/ rockster Sass Jordan, which debuted at number one in Newfoundland, selling over 12,000 copies.
Greeley then took his music overseas, making three trips to Germany to perform for the Canadian troops. He signed with Royalty Records, the long-time Alberta indie label that connected Greeley with two-time CCMA Producer of the Year, Joel Feeney. Greeley’s songwriting talents came to the forefront as well, and he co-wrote five of the songs on the album, including partnering with Nashville’s Denny Carr (Rocket Girl) on “What I’ve Gotta Do”. Greeley’s musical direction is defined by his credo, “You’ve got to sing what you love, to love what you sing”.
Travel Alberta also invited some Hollywood Television and Film stars to join in on the Stampede fun. The celebrities mixed and mingled with the fans and were treated to a private Skybox to watch the hockey game. Celebrities included, (Montreal native) Max Williams who stars in the new IFC series “Bullet In The Face”, Robert Picardo, series regular on “Star Trek: Voyager” and who created the role of Commander Woolsey on “Stargate: Atlantis”, and beautiful actress Claudia Christian from the hit TV series “Grimm”, “Nip/Tuck”, "Relic Hunter", and was the series lead on “Babylon 5”.
Also along for the ride was Nick Searcy, series regular on the hit television series “Justified”, and recently co-starred with Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”. Other celebrity guests included Randy Rosenbloom, a nationally televised NBC Sportscaster covering two Olympic Games, Vancouver actress/singer Vikki Gurdas appeared in “Totally Blonde” with Michael Buble, and was a lead vocalist on the soundtrack single, "Mr.Right". Ken Olandt from the popular Soap Operas, “General Hospital” and “The Young and The Restless”, and Jeff Rector from “The Bold & The Beautiful”, and “NYPD Blue” who wrangled the stars for the event.
Following the pre-game Stampede event, everyone made their way into The Honda Center with anticipation for the rival hockey match between The Calgary Flames and The Anaheim Ducks. Both teams were pumped up and ready to rumble. We even caught the two teams mascots (the Flames "Harry the Horse" and the Ducks "Wild Wing"), mixing it up between periods.
The Flames and the Ducks were evenly matched and the game was a tense back and forth battle between the two teams who were tied 2–2 in the third period. With less than a minute to go (46 seconds on the clock), the Ducks Ryan Getzlaf took a short pass from Corey Perry to score the winning goal with the Anaheim Ducks winning 3-2. It was an amazing “Clash of the Titans” match-up that kept all spectators in the stadium on the edge of their seats for the two and a half hour spectacle.
Following the game, the final glasses of beer were downed, the victory cries subsided, the celebrities returned home, and the beautiful Calgary Stampede Queen and her court rode off into the Sunset. All had a great time. A special thanks to Travel Alberta, The Calgary Stampede, The Anaheim Ducks, the fans, and everyone that worked tirelessly to make this wonderful event an enormous success.
The 100th Anniversary Celebration will take place July 6th – July 15th. Come and visit, and see for yourself why The Calgary Stampede is indeed “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. So come to Calgary in July and enjoy Canada’s beautiful, scenic and breathtaking country, 10 days of amazing Stampede events, and get spoiled by Alberta’s western hospitality. For more information, and to book your travel arrangements, go to www.CalgaryStampede.com or www.TravelAlberta.com/
Keep an eye out for my next series of travel articles in April. Albertas Winter Wonderland: Where Winter is Playtime. "Remember to Breathe".