Well, after a nice long break for the holidays, we were back at it with a bunch of fun events to kick off 2014.  Even though we’re well into February now, Happy Belated New Year from your 2014 trio!

2014 Stampede Poster; I guess it isn’t just the Chinese Zodiac celebrating the horse this year!
2014 Stampede Poster; I guess it isn’t just the Chinese Zodiac celebrating the horse this year!

Though I’m over a month behind for our traditional New Year’s here in Canada, the Chinese New Year began on January 31 with celebrations continuing for 15 days after. I thought this was worth mentioning because there’s a little bit of Stampede spirit involved this year: it’s the year of the horse!

A simple google search brings up numerous explanations for what the year of the horse means.  One of my favourites was that this year is a time for unexpected adventure, and an excellent year for travel.  Additionally, the Horse year is considered a fortunate year that brings good luck and good things.  Considering that the remainder of my reign as Stampede Queen will be occurring during this time, I can’t think of a better Chinese Zodiac sign to have this year!

Obviously I am a big fan of the western connection too. All three of us Royalty are counting down the days to Stampede; it just can’t come fast enough.

In an upcoming post, Princess Shannon will be introducing you to our own royal horses Hawk, Kansas, and Snoopy, who will be with us throughout our year.

 

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Princess Shannon and Harry the Horse; you could definitely say his year is off to a great start too.

 

Though we’re eagerly awaiting Stampede, it was great to get back into numerous events after the break.  It had been over a month since we last serenaded seniors at our last Happy Trails event, but a month wasn’t long enough to lose our terrific vocal skills (if you missed my last post about my lack of singing ability, you can find it here). We also had the opportunity to show off some newly acquired, or recently practised, dancing skills as well.  The Promotions Committee that we join with at Happy Trails gave us a lesson on two stepping and line dancing.  Finally, an actual skill we can show off at these events!

 

Princesses Shannon, Stephanie, and I with Harry the Horse and members of the Promotions Committee.  A big thanks to Janine of Janine's Custom Creations for our beautiful new shirts!
Princesses Shannon, Stephanie, and I with Harry the Horse and members of the Promotions Committee. A big thanks to Janine of Janine’s Custom Creations for our beautiful new shirts!

 

By the end of the night we were all having so much fun it was difficult to tell whether the seniors or ourselves enjoyed ourselves more! Harry the Horse was the star of the show, and had many of the residents in fits of laughter as he got up to his usual mischief.

Steph, Shannon, and I with 102 year old Grace at Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence. Grace was born the same year as the inaugural Calgary Exhibition and Stampede event.
Steph, Shannon, and I with 102 year old Grace at Canyon Meadows Retirement Residence. Grace was born the same year as the inaugural Calgary Exhibition and Stampede event.

One of the highlights of the night was meeting Grace, a resident at the home.   While we enjoy visiting with all of the residents on these nights, Grace had a special connection to Stampede which made her stand out: she’s 102 years old, the same age as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!  Her secret? Just to stay happy.

 

Though it technically occurred on February 1, I’m going to group in the Calgary Flames Western Night with my January events highlights.  The night began with thousands of Calgary Stampede white hats being distributed to fans coming into the dome; what better way to show off our city’s western spirit? As we stood preparing for the national anthems to begin, we were surprised (and ecstatic!) to see that it wasn’t the normal singer for the Flames; it was Paul Brandt!! But the excitement didn’t end there: after the first period, we got to meet him as well.  While we had a little bit of time for introductions and pictures before Paul had to rush off to his next event,  I wasn’t able to ask for singing lessons for the royal trio; maybe next time.

Photo-op with Paul Brandt!
Photo-op with Paul Brandt!

Other highlights of the night included seeing ourselves on the jumbotron, white hats gleaming, as we passed out prizes to the winners of different contests, and watching the 2014 Calgary Stampede Teaser.  It was just one more thing to get us more excited for July 4!  Unfortunately we weren’t able to watch much of the game as we were rushed from area to area, but that last overtime goal by Mikael Backlund was a terrific ending to Western Night.

 

As the only 90’s baby of the trio I wasn't around for Calgary’s Stanley Cup win, but here’s a shot of Steph reminiscing about that great time in her childhood (she’s so old I'm sure she can remember it like it was yesterday)
As the only 90’s baby of the trio I wasn’t around for Calgary’s Stanley Cup win, but here’s a shot of Steph reminiscing about that great time in her childhood (she’s so old I’m sure she can remember it like it was yesterday).