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