On Saturday, September 23 the Calgary community was invited to go behind the scenes of several historic Calgary landmarks for Doors Open YYC. For the fourth consecutive year, the Calgary Stampede participated and toured guests through the Grandstand, the Eye in the Sky, under the Grandstand stage, through The Young Canadians dressing rooms and onto the Rodeo Infield.
“I’m new to Calgary, so this was a great opportunity to learn about the Calgary Stampede and see how important it is to the city,” said Camila, one tour goer who recently arrived in Calgary from Colombia.
“The volunteers were very knowledgeable and very welcoming. I enjoyed the tour greatly,” she added.
The day kicked off at 10 a.m. with a yummy free pancake breakfast, courtesy of the Promotion committees’ Batter Boys.
Stop one: The tour began at the public art piece the 100 Years of Champions, which honours the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.
100 Years of Champions
Stop two: From there, guests were taken up to the Eye in the Sky, the spot where the judges and announcers sit during the Rodeo and chuckwagon races and make the big calls!
Stop three: Next guests were met by volunteers from the Grandstand committee, which included a former Young Canadian. He shared his experiences as a member and even let guests be a part of the special Cert mint tradition, where before every show, every night, dating back to the 70s, each member has had a Cert mint for good luck. Once under the stage, guests got to see some of the beautiful custom-made costumes and dressing rooms and then it was up onto the stage where they got a chance to practice their bows!
Stop four: Next, it was off to meet the Rodeo committee and learn about the various Rodeo sports, the chutes and even some nitty gritty details about the fill in the arena! Fun fact: it takes lots of time and several layers to build up the dirt for the Rodeo to ensure a soft landing for competitors. The Infield has a world-class drainage system to keep the soil clean and in excellent condition.
Stop five: The final stop on the tour was an up close and personal visit with two bulls, courtesy of Billy Richards, a long-time Calgary Stampede stock provider. The bulls each weigh approximately 1,600 pounds and were docile when it came to all the visitors they got to see on Saturday!
If you were able to join us for a tour, thanks for coming out! The Calgary Stampede is proud to participate in a city-wide community event that brings people together like Doors Open YYC!