The Calgary Stampede . . . “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”

 

We arrive in Calgary to attend the 55TH Annual Stampede and check into the Marriott Hotel. The entire town is decked out in pink: pink shirts, pink cowboy hats, and pink neck scarves.  Wrangler, the proud sponsor of Stampede 2007 is tickled pink their visionary theme: “Tough Enough To Wear Pink “ raises $576,155 in just 30 hours for Canadian Breast Cancer, thanks to the support of the entire town.

The opening parade went on all day

Calgaryis swarming and swinging with tourists, locals, cowboys and rodeo riders. The Calgary Stampede, the largest outdoor show in the world, kicks off with an early morning parade of high stepping horses, marching bands from all over the world, dancers, vintage cars and spectacular creative floats. We secure a front row seat in the bleachers outside the Marriott Hotel, lucky to have such an unobstructed view of the parade. Kids squeal with delight as tiny ponies prance by and clowns twist balloons into animal shapes. The parade lasts for several hours, and we are thrilled to be part of the cheering crowd that lines the streets.

There was lots to see, to eat and to experience

For those who live in Calgary, the Stampede is the biggest family and social event of the summer; every night corporate and private parties that are held in tents, clubs and palatial homes around town.

Judy Love Rondeau, a public relations representative for Alberta, takes us to one of her favorite hangouts for a chuck wagon BBQ lunch, then to the fair grounds for an insider tour. At the farm animal petting pens; a large pink mommy pig lies quietly on her side as her new born litter of six suckle; a teenager tries his hand at milking a cow; the sea of pink cowboy hats is a reminder of the fight against breast cancer.

There were animals a plenty

The Calgary Stampede belongs to everyone, the young and the young at heart; it is the symbol of Western values and shared beliefs . . . from  midway rides,  games of chance and  children’s petting and learning barns to the superstars who compete in bareback  bull riding , steer wrestling, barrel racing and horse drawn wagon competitions.

WAIT FOR THE VIDEOS TO LOAD.....

The Beauty Queens -

 

 

 

It is opening night; the chuck wagon raceshave just ended.

Chuck Wagon Race Start -

Chuck Wagon Race End -

The bleachers are filled with stampede fans; a six million dollar stage is wheeled out; the show’s MC gets the crowd cheering as “The Most Spectacular Outdoor Theatrical Extravaganza and Fireworks Display in the World”  debuts to this year’s theme:: “ The Spirit of 1912”.  The stage ignites in fire and sparklers; then explodes with unleashed talent, colorful costumes, special lighting effects, high kicking dancers; fiddlers,  and acrobats; high wire performers fly across the stage in yellow and orange costumes; free style motorcyclists race   up ramps, then flip upside down into somersaults, an amazing   astonishing feat that leaves the crowd breathless.  First Nation dancers, perform an intricate, graceful and traditional dream catcher dance that tells a folklore story.

See Some of the Show -

 

This fast paced extravaganza has been choreographed with the professionalism and talent of a hit Broadway show, with the added impact of a much larger stage .I sit in awe; energy and love fill the night. As the two hour show builds into its final frenzy, a barrage of fireworks explodes into the “cowboy sky “.

Spectacular Fireworks -

It has been said, since 1912, that when The Calgary Stampede comes to town, it brings the “cowboy sky” and the stars of hope, dreams, and love.   MAY WE ALL FIND PEACE OF MIND UNDER A COWBOY SKY!    

 Photographs byLawrenceDavis

 

 

To read more from this trip, click on these links:

Vancouver - A Fabulous Place to Visit, a Great Place to Live

VANCOUVER - An Emerging Culinary Destination Wows My Palate

Alberta, Canada, Where The Canadian Rockies Speak Nature in Harmony with Mother Earth

Banff and Jasper National Parks . . . A Diversity of Thrills and Potential Spills

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