It’s the end of June and Stampede is around the corner!  Besides the calendar here are five other reasons why it’s easy for me to feel Stampede is in the air:

1. CS Headquarters has been buzzing the last 10-days. Whether it’s our hard-working volunteers having one last committee meeting, the employees running to and fro finalizing last minute details, the phones ringing off the hook constantly and best of all, a constant hum around the ticketing office, HQ is an incredibly busy place these days.

2. Whether you are reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, watching TV or participating through social media, Stampede is being talked about everywhere. Our marketing people are doing a great job.

3. Setup on park is, if anything, ahead of schedule. Check out these photos I took yesterday on a quick tour around the park:

Pictured: The Great FUNtier set up four days before The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
Park 2
Pictured: Midway set up four days before Stampede time

The new ENMAX Park is going to be a spectacular addition to the Stampede next year when it’s formally inside the gates but even this year it will be available to provide some green space for relaxing and enjoying a view of the river.

Pictured: ENMAX Park

4. I went for my annual Father’s Day horseback ride with my daughters — a little pre- parade practice and tradition for the Gray clan.

Pictured: Father’s Day ride with my daughter’s Stephanie and Kelsey

5. Stampede is the only time of year I think about organizing my clothes in advance. It actually takes a little work to get all of my boots, jeans, belts, shirts, vests, hats, pins, credentials and name tags ready for the 10-days. It will be hugely helpful to have an office on park this year.

Pictured: A part of my boot collection lined up and ready to go!

Countdown!  The weather report looks outstanding at this point and notwithstanding the economy, ticket sales are holding steady at 2014 levels (our second best year ever!) and the Lottery committee recently reported that their advance ticket packages are completely sold out.  Kudos to the Lottery committee we look forward to seeing as much success during Stampede time.  A safe and successful Stampede to all!