Howdy everyone!

How on earth do you sum up a 100th Birthday party in one blog post?! As a born and raised Calgarian, I’ve attended quite a lot of Stampede’s in my time. Every one has a special place in my heart; but somehow, this one was different. From munching on Caravan breakfasts, mini doughnuts and Food Trucks to riding the swings, taking in the Rodeo and GMC Rangeland Derby, concerts galore, TAILS, Western Oasis, the incredible TransAlta Light Up the City fireworks and more…this was by far the BEST Stampede I’ve experienced to date. Did you feel the same way Calgary?

Somehow I felt as though the energy resonating thru our ‘Stampede City’ was more vibrant- everywhere you looked there were friends and families young and old, all celebrating together. Numerous times I overheard passers by simply stating “I love Stampede”!

I tried my best to cover every corner on park, since there was a lot of great new programming added to this year’s 10-day show. My cowboy boots carried me all over the place- not once did I stop and wish I was wearing anything different. The opportunity to catch up with several fellow volunteers & Stampede representatives for an interview and highlight them on the blog was so cool- our organization is chalk FULL of people I’d love to chat with in order to get to know them better, and give them a little extra recognition for all their hard work.

 

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this year was seeing one of our Next Generation committee (NGC) projects really come full circle and gain such momentum and success- the Centennial Time Capsule. We were able to engage the city thru various means of social media to garner submissions and suggestions, as well as help spread the word of our efforts. We were even on the big stage in front of the Grandstand not once, but twice! On Thursday, July 12 I had the wonderful opportunity to walk on the stage in front of 20, 000 fans along with fellow NGC’ers Josh, Sarah and Jenn as we accepted a gorgeous limited edition silver and gold belt buckle from the Chuckwagon committee as their gift to the Time Capsule. This was truly a surreal moment that I know I will never forget! Two days later, we sealed the Time Capsule (Will, Sarah, Jenn & Troy on stage) alongside president Mike Casey, Indian Princess Amelia Crowshoe, and Paul Brandt- what an incredible night that was!

It’s hard to choose what was my highlight moment, since every minute of every day I spent on park was filled with happiness and excitement. I look forward to this time all year long, and every year it seems like 10 days is both an eternity and a split second. I loved that in just one day alone I was able to catch up with old friends and share with them my passion for the Stampede by showing them all over the park, that I could get a ride in a golfcart with my stepdad and watch him in action behind the scenes with his fellow Chuckwagon committee members in the barns (I am so proud that we are both volunteers, its a really great bond to have in our family), and then watch my favourite Grandstand show yet with my mom- front and centre, singing along to Paul Brandt. This was just one day of many memorable ones I can look back on and smile for years and years to come. (oh yes…and how could I forget I actually got to meet the one and only Paul Brandt in person?! Incredible. Surreal.)

 

So thank you to all my fellow volunteers, staff…and citizens of Calgary(that includes all temporary Calgarians who travel from afar!) for making this 100th Birthday celebration one to remember- we truly are greatest together.

Now on to planning for #Stampede101…