Well its taken me a couple of weeks to catch up with sleep, work and house stuff but finally have some time to reflect back on what was a great 2015 Calgary Stampede. This was my first Stampede as president & chairman of the board and my schedule was even more hectic than I had guessed it would be but had great experiences. Lots of memories but those that stick out for me are as follows:

1. Getting to ride in the Demo Chuckwagon 101 ride on Friday, July 10. What a thrill and man do those horses love to run. Thanks to Chuckwagon committee for making that happen and driver Barry Hodgson for the ride.

Bill and the Chuckwagon
Chuckwagon ride along with driver Barry Hodgson

2. Stampede weather always on the radar – so to speak. The one-hour hail storm on Saturday, July 4 really was The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth – though not in a good way – but other than that and some rain on Monday and early final Sunday morning, we had some terrific Stampede time weather this year.

Flash hail storm on Saturday, July 4
Flash hail storm on Saturday, July 4

 

3. Watching the Rodeo finals on Sunday, July, 12 with my daughters. The best cowboys competing against the best stock for big money in front of a packed house on a beautiful sunny afternoon. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Spending time at the Rodeo with my daughters Stephanie and Kelsey.
Spending time at the Rodeo with my daughters Stephanie and Kelsey

 

4. Taking in the fast-paced and immensely entertaining Evening Show. Congrats to Dave Pierce, The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede and the Grandstand committee volunteers on that production.

The 2015 TransAlta Grandstand Show - Classic Canadian
The 2015 TransAlta Grandstand Show – Classic Canadian

5.  Having a very moving and emotional experience at the final Director’s Tea in the Meeting Tipi in Indian Village before moving to new site next year.  Thanks to the Indian Events committee vice-chair Cindy Provost for leading that session in such an inspirational manner.

Shawl Dancing demonstration at the Indian Village closing ceremony
Shawl Dancing demonstration at the Indian Village closing ceremony

 

6.  The pride Warren and I feel when we constantly receive compliments from visitors, sponsors and other stakeholders about the friendliness, helpfulness and hospitality of our volunteers and employees both on park and at our downtown and other caravan breakfast locations.

First Nations Parade downtown Calgary
First Nations Parade downtown Calgary

 

7. Fun. From toddlers barely walking to senior citizens enjoying Western Heritage Day, and everything in between, walking around the park and seeing so many guests enjoying the fabulous entertainment offerings on park and just having fun.

Window on the West
Window on the West in the Western Oasis on Western Heritage Day

 

Thanks to vice-chairs Dave and Dana and all the other members of the board for their efforts in attending events and supporting the organization throughout Stampede time. But will still be working to get more buy in from the board for White Jeans Wednesday fundraiser. (Check out Dana below – now that might be a little over the top.)

White Jean Wednesday
Vice-chairs Dave Sibbald and Dana Peers posing with me in our white jeans for the White Jeans Wednesday fundraiser supporting the Women of Wagon’s Benevolent Fund.

 

Hope all employees and volunteers get a well deserved break and some rest over the remainder of the summer. We will all be back at Stampede meetings starting in September and remember only a mere 340 days or so until the 2016 Stampede!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter – @stampede_pres

Bill