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Hell or High Water – Calgary Stampede 2013 Day 1

After all of the flooding + destruction, the Calgary Stampede was still on, goin’ strong!!!  Ya hooo!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

This year we attended the last weekend of the Stampede – July 13th + 14th.  Day 1 you ask?  Yes.  We went to Stampede for TWO days!!!  This is my second year in a row!  Here’s my Centennial experience last year!  This year we dragged along our NY city gal, Debbie for her first rodeo experience – she got the FULL experience, as you’ll soon see!

Pick out a cowboy hat, Debbie!!!  And you KNOW that we have oodles + caboodles to choose from!  We’re like a stop n’ shop!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 01

Woops!!!  Too big!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 02

I had to negotiate with her on wearing some cowgirl attire.  At least I got a hat, boots + a bolo tie on her!!!

The theme for this year’s Stampede was “Hell or High Water” due to the massive volunteer + professional efforts to get the flood damaged Stampede grounds ready in time.Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 6.58.39 PM

Here is what the Stampede grounds looked like under water during the flooding.Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 6.59.44 PM

We boarded the train at the southern most station – which is the way to go because parking is horrendous.  Upon entering, we always hit the Indian Village first.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 03

The Indian Village is always one of my favorite aspects of Stampede.  It’s not as chaotic + seems separate from the rest of the Stampede grounds.  And of course, there’s the dancing + the gorgeous costumes.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 04

This young guy was my favorite.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 05

Wherever we go, Jeff seems to always know somebody.  One of the dancers is a stunt man on “Hell on Wheels” so off Jeff went for a chat.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 06

Close look at a pair of beautiful beaded moccasin boots.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 07

The MC at Indian Village’s house + all the contents inside had been severely damaged by the flooding + as a sign of support + love, the community presented him a buffalo hide.  There was many a wet eye in the crowd.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 08

A dancer taking a break on the grass – how amazing is her beaded wolf breastplate?!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 09

I always look forward to the cone/jingle dress dance!!!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 11

The cones were originally made from chewing tobacco lids.  And the dresses are “healing” dresses.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 12

A future jingle dress dancer on the sidelines.  SO CUTE!!!!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 13

There was so much energy, heart, story telling, colors + movement!!!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 14

I could have stayed there for the rest of the day, but it was just the tip of the iceberg!  Onwards to the Midway for some grub!!!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 15

Stampede is a special event where people allow decadent gluttony to go hog wild.  They loosen their belts, forget about calorie counting + eat forbidden foods that they would never dream of eating any other time of the year!  Like fried butter, (we tried to find some but didn’t!) pizza on a stick, taco in a bag (what the heck is that) + any other artery clogging fried mess you can think of!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 16

At first it’s funny, but then you kind of walk around for a while + want to barf.  The carnival games were popular as always.  This year’s coveted prizes were the Minions from “Despicable Me”.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 17

People watching is the best on the Midway.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 19

See what I mean?Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 20

A group of young dudes came up to Jeff asking him for directions.  Debbie + I were cracking up!!!  I tried to get a secret picture.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 21

Can you blame them?  Jeff looked so official in his cowboy blazer, cowboy hat, vintage Stampede bolo tie + barn pass around his neck.  I started calling him the “Ambassador of the Calgary Stampede”!!!

On to the Grandstand to watch the chuck wagon race!  Just so that everyone is aware, the rodeo tickets + the chuck wagon tickets need to be purchased separately.  Sheesh, what a racket!!!

We stood below in the standing room area to get a different perspective.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 23

Mayor Nenshi gave a passionate opening speech applauding volunteers + the Calgary spirit through all the hard times that the city has experienced in the last month.  The crowds went wild!!  I heart Mayor Nenshi!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 24

The Ambassador of the Calgary Stampede.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 25

The Canadian Royal Air Force flew the flag as “O Canada” began to play…Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 26

A patriotic crowd singing along.  I’m sheepish to say that I don’t know any of the words – yet.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 27

Standing amongst the crowd was okay, but since Debbie + I are hella short, we could barely see above everyone’s heads!  Of course, Jeff saw the still photographer from “Hell on Wheels” up in front who had some connections!  He let us into the fancy shmancy arena to watch one chuck wagon race up close + personal!!!  We felt so important when he ushered us in!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 28

Chuck wagon royalty + World Champion – outrider Chad Cosgrave.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 29

He’s really handsome + he also performs stunts on “Hell on Wheels”.  Click here to see a picture of Chad + I from last year’s Stampede + an explanation about Chuck wagon racing.

More studly outriders racing by.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 30

A cute moment caught right before these kids were to go on stage for a rocking horse race.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 31

After the race was over, the three of us headed to the barn area with our special barn passes that Jason Glass had given to Jeff earlier in the day.Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 32

No it’s not a petting zoo like everyone always thinks (I know I did!).  It’s access to the chuck wagon barns, horses, beer + a chance to meet the chuck wagon racers + outriders.  I always feel a little squirmy going to the barns on the last Saturday night because the next day is the finals + people are bustling about feeding the horses + getting ready for the big day!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 33

Here’s a weird shadowy/blown out picture of Debbie standing next to Jason Glass’s famous checker board chuck wagon!  Pretty exciting, since Jason ended up winning the finals the next day!Calgary Stampede 2013 Day1 - 34

Put a fork in Debbie + I cuz we were DONE!!!!  Jeff could have hobnobbed forever, but Debbie + I were POOPED + getting majorly cranky pants, so we got a head start + walked out of the barns without him!  Sayonara, Jeff!!!  But wait!  Save your energy people, cuz there’s still more Stampede to cover!!!  Thanks for comin’ along!!!!

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. I loooove the minions! I have one from the last time I went to Stampede a few years ago. 🙂

    Also, I know one of the guys who was in the helicopter with the flag…his pictures from that angle are pretty awesome too!

    July 26, 2013
  2. Kenneth ''Papi~Dad's'' Nishino #

    Yaaah, Nan, ”The Ambassador ” funny he does look the
    part, 4 sure!!!!! good foto’s kiddo, keep up the good work
    as pictures speak volumes about a story, YAAH !!! wut was
    with the hot dog and the nori, nice touch, indeed, yummm!!!
    well definitely looks like U’Alll had a great time and yup do
    agree peep watching is fun, did U guy’s stay in Calgary 4
    the nite, i hope U did 4 the safety value,…Mum’s friend Willa
    is here from Memphis, so talk story has been endless !!!!!!!
    ok, best 2 Jeff, hope all is WELL in Big Sky Country, Dad’s

    July 26, 2013
    • Canada loves doing the fusion hot dog thing! It all started with the Japadog stand in Vancouver! Personally I don’t like the teri, nori combo with a hot dog! We didn’t stay in Calgary Saturday night, we went home + did it all again the next day!!! So tired!

      July 27, 2013

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