Morning everyone! Today I’m posting the second half of my interview with Ruth Ann Rayner, a 30 year veteran Stampede Volunteer working on the amazing Caravan committee. If you missed yesterday’s post, you can find it here. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the remainder of my conversation with Ruth Ann. She is absolutely an amazing spirit and we as an organization are so lucky to have her as a spokesperson.

6. What has been the largest crowd you have served for? That’s surely a ton of pancakes and sausages! Could you share some ‘stats’ on how much food is served on an average breakfast?

Well, on a typical year (and of course this year is atypical!)  – We’d serve 200 000 pancakes which is approximately 5 tons of mix- enough to fill an Olympic size pool. We’d cook up 4 tons sausage patties, 100 000 juice boxes, and use up 3000 litres of maple syrup. And this year of course with the early promotions for the Centennial these numbers would only multiply. Incredible!

7. Do you serve breakfast rain or shine? July is known for some temperamental weather, especially Stampede week?

Oh yes. We know to carry our slickers, hat covers, rubber boots- there have been some Julys that are very unpredictable. I remember very clearly one morning at Southland Leisure Centre- I was on stage and it was snowing- they opened the back of the building so that the crowd could be served inside. It was so cold I was wearing earmuffs. Then there was 1989 at Glenmore Landing- Monday AM – it poured rain, the band couldn’t play, the stoves couldn’t work…we started making boats and played with those in parking lot! When we were in England in 1980 the tables were sinking into the mud. We can handle anything – you truly just have to roll with what the weather brings you.

8.  Where can people find out about where the Caravan members will be hosting breakfasts ahead of time? We wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on any delicious pancakes!

Best way is our own website. You can also tune in to about 10 different radio stations that will broadcast what I’ve called in to. Country 105 usually stops by in their pancake patrol car.

9. What are you most looking forward to during this year’s 10-day Stampede?

I am interested to find out how many people get into the swing of things. I’m hoping to see folks dressing in a retro manner- Guy Weadick sloped hats, a great big neckerchiefs. I also think it will be peoples enthusiasm – we as a city are so incredible. How will we step up to the plate to enjoy this?

We are lucky as Caravan members; our mandate is to come to every part of the city so all Calgarians can get a Taste of Stampede. I’m pleased to see that the Calgary Herald has stepped up and the second section on Sunday’s paper is dedicated to the history of the Stampede. I feel like the pre hype is setting the stage for the most incredible experience yet.

10. As we celebrate our 100 Year Centennial Calgary Stampede, where do you see us in the next 100 years?

Well, if you look back to 100 years ago, in many ways we don’t look that much different.  There is still a rodeo, and chuckwagons- but we have new technologies for interacting with our patrons. Who knows what will be out there- I really think it is going to be the same, it is still people working together to make sure Calgarians and our visitors are getting together to enjoy the city and celebrate our western heritage whether it is the Centennial or 2015.

One last thing I’d love to say that we’ve adopted as our mantra at Caravan…we’re a good group that just keeps on keeping on.

Ruth Ann, thank you for taking some time to chat with me. It is so evident from our conversation that you are a unique and wonderful person, one who has a passion for life and for our treasured western values. May this Stampede be your most favourite yet!

For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at@calgarystampede and @CS_NGC, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.