I’m going to go ahead and admit this publicly, embarrassed as I am to do so. This year, Stampede 101, after twenty-something years of Stampedes under my belt …. I rode rides and played games on the Midway. For the first time, ever.
Don’t ask me to explain, I don’t know how or why. But thinking back to every Stampede growing up, it was all about the Rodeo. The Indian Village. Agricultural events. The Coke Stage, the Chucks, the Grandstand Show, and of course, a little later on in life, Nashville North took up a chunk of my time and attention, too.
This year I was in the mood to do something wild and crazy, so the Midway seemed like the natural choice. I really had the best time. In between rides, I accomplished a total failure to win any plush toys at Ring Toss, and that really was the most fun afternoon I’ve had in a while. Sometimes the best things in life (besides the free things) are the simple things.
Devouring a corn dog, spinning on the swings 20 feet in the air, giggling like a little girl with my cousin as we competed at Skee Ball … that’s the kind of day you remember.
Calgary and Southern Alberta have been through a lot these past few weeks, and I hope everyone has an opportunity this Stampede to step back and appreciate the little things, whatever that may be for them. Simple as it may seem, especially with all the amazing things happening this year, floating above the Park on the WestJet Skyride with a lemonade in hand might be my own personal Stampede highlight. What’s yours?