As you likely know by now, the Calgary Stampede is in the business of sending a warm Western Welcome to everyone – near AND far.

In the days leading up to the Calgary Stampede, and during the 10 days of Stampede itself, Promotion Committee volunteers head out the the arrival gate at the Calgary Airport to greet tourists coming into the city for Stampede.

While there, we hand out information and answer questions. But we also like to have a little fun.

Gary and Larry
Longtime airport band members Gary and Larry play country music hits, pose for photos and get the tourists in the mood for some good times.

Before they hit the sliding doors leading out of customs, visitors will hear the musical stylings of Gary and Larry – two local musicians who have been greeting guests to Calgary for many years.

Of course, their music gets everyone in the mood to dance…

Dancing at the airport
Promotion committee volunteers Donna and Lance try a little two-step

Gary and Larry also make sure to take breaks to pose for photos, chat with the crowd and take requests. They love requests, actually. After playing for almost 12 hours everyday, sometimes they need a request or two to help them come up with new songs to play.

Family poses for a photo at the Calgary Airport
A family grabs some cowboy hats and pose with Gary and Larry for a photo.

In addition to country tunes, visitors are also greeted by volunteers wielding ‘branding irons’ and catch ropes.

Calgary Stampede volunteers waiting for tourists to come out of the arrival doors.
Promotion committee volunteers wait for tourists to come out of the arrival doors.

We get a big kick out of watching the visitors hesitantly walk by the roper. He swings that rope around, acting like he’s going to catch himself a critter. It’s usually not until they pass, thinking that they’re in the clear, that he’ll toss the rope over their head and reign them it. (Don’t worry, he’s gentle!)

Brad getting ready to rope someone
Volunteer roper, Brad, gets ready to make a catch
Getting roped
Expert skills, as I get roped for a photo op.

If you’re at the Calgary Airport, by all means come say ‘hi,’ get a ‘brand’ (stamp) and see if someone will rope you.

To those we’ve met this week, welcome to Calgary and we hope you’ll enjoy your stay!