As I wrote in a blog post last week, I have had the chance to show 3 Stampede rookies – “Tenderfeet”, to use the cowboy slang – the ropes over the first half of this year’s Calgary Stampede. From touring the Grounds, to the Rodeo and Chucks, to the Parade and the Grandstand Show, to the midway and the tremendous shows on the Stampede Grounds that are free with park admission… One day was not nearly enough to take in the whole experience. Heck: FIVE days was hardly enough time.
I spoke with our trio of sisters (Melissa, Christine, and Heather) about their very first Stampede experience. Their comments are below.
Joey: So ladies, any initial impressions about the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth?
Christine: We talked about how the Grandstand Show was a major highlight, and on top of it the fireworks show…
Heather: I really liked the marching bands, that was really cool. And the chuckwagons.
Melissa: Who knew that Chuckwagons were so big in Calgary?
J: Did you have any highlights from the parade itself?
C: Seeing the tank doing donuts down 9th avenue. That was cool.
M: It’s not every day you see that.
H: The Clydesdales were awesome, too.
J: I know you got excited when you saw the float for Lake Country, where you’re all from.
C: Yeah! Kelowna, represent! That was Ogopogo, our Lake Monster.
M: He’s a good dude. He has a twitter account: @TheOgopogo
J: Any favourite rides?
C: The swing. It’s a childhood love.
H: I liked the Ferris Wheel.
C: I’m scared of Ferris Wheels.
J: Christine, you mentioned you were looking forward to the rodeo. What did you think?
C: It was REALLY hot. It was something I’d love to come back and see again. What I had in my mind about what a rodeo was, and what I saw, were 2 very different things. It was exciting to see, and I’d love to see it again.
J: Heather, what did you think of the Grandstand Show?
H: It was awesome. The acrobats, and the people doing flips on the bikes and stuff…I think that was probably my favourite part.
C: I thought it was strictly going to be about 100 years of Alberta and cowboys and stuff, but the way it was done was very multi-cultural. It was cool. The Hebei Acrobatic Troupe from China was very cool, doing the tricks on bicycles. They were VERY good.
J: Melissa, you also took in a concert at Stampede. How were the Beach Boys?
M: The Beach Boys were terrific. I definitely went into it thinking they were going to sound like 80 year-old men, and I was totally wrong.
J: What about the fireworks? You said your apartment has good views of 2 of the fireworks sites for Light Up The City. What did you think of the fireworks display?
M: Being on the Grounds and watching them was incredible. I’ve never watched fireworks from directly underneath. For Light Up The City, it was super cool to stand on my balcony and see that the fireworks across the city were totally in sync.
J: Can we expect to see you at future Stampedes?
M: You bet. I’m a real Calgarian now, so I’ll be there.