With more than 350 confirmed attendees, Charles Macmichael encouraged members of the LGBTQ community to celebrate together in Stampede Spirit at Nashville North on the first Saturday of Stampede. “We have been doing this unofficially for [a while] now and it continues to be amazing, grow in number and in fun. Last year we had over 300 attendees! This is a great way to enjoy new friends, meet amazing guys and gals and get your western wear on,” Macmichael wrote on the Facebook event page.

The Facebook event page was shared with approximately 1,500 people – among them, were Stampede employees – team lead, marketing, Jenn Mayuga, and manager, organizational communications, Kathryn Jenkins. Mayuga and Jenkins immediately got to work to help Macmichael’s guests feel welcomed by creating and printing out Calgary Stampede stickers featuring a rainbow cowboy boot beside the CS logo.

“We wanted to show support and extend our western hospitality to all of the attendees of this unofficial event,” explained Mayuga. “As the gathering place for the community during Stampede time, we were excited and appreciative that they chose Stampede Park as the venue to come together to celebrate; and we hope they have a good time today!”

Adam Burlock (L) with Alex Garcia (R) sporting their Stampede stickers.
Adam Burlock (L) with Alex Garcia (R) sporting their Stampede stickers.

Adam Burlock and Alex Garcia, pictured above, came from Edmonton, AB and Frederickton, Newfoundland to take part in the Stampede festivities, while others, such as Michael Fong and his Calgarian friends below, look forward to Stampede every year. “It is great to see the city welcoming all its communities with open arms,” Fong says upon receiving one of the Stampede stickers.

Fong (L) with his peers

The stickers weren’t the only handouts of the afternoon – Macmichael personally wrote every attendee a “Hello my name is” name tag with a witty slogan. His initiative of providing each guest with a name tag provided an atmosphere of inclusivity and fun.

Macmichael hand-writing the name tags
Macmichael hand-writing the name tags
A group of party goers sporting their name tags and stickers.

“I love Stampede! It`s my favourite time of the year!” was a common response when asking what the attendees thought of the event – but specifically from Clint Burns.

Burns, third from the left, with his friends enjoying their afternoon at Nashville North

And while some guests came to enjoy Nashville North then made plans of heading off-Stampede Park later in the night, others were committed to Stampede Park. “I`ve already seen the Grandstand Show,” says Dwight Efford, “and i`ll have to come back a third day to go on the Midway rides.”

Efford and his new friends enjoying some beers together.

The event was an excellent demonstration of how one person can change the world – the event has grown over the last four years and the Stampede is thrilled to have been able to welcome attendees and take part in the event.

We hope to see everyone out again next year!