Calgary Stampede – like the eastershow with less cows and more cowboys

     


Calgary Stampede – Chuck Wagon racing
Originally uploaded by simmogem.

Today we went to the Calgary Stampede. The whole of Calgary, mabye even Alberta, seems to stop for this event. There are paintings of cowboys in all the shop fronts, hay bails in the bars and the herbs and spices shop even has a drawing of a Cowboy riding a Chilli Pepper in its window… crazy!

The stampede is very much like our Royal Easter show but with a bit of a twist. Kind of Like the easter show meets the Tumbarumba Rodeo (or if your an Albert the Coonamble rodeo), except they pronounce rodeo incorrectly here.

$12 gets you through the gates where you can loose money to the carnies on sideshow alley, see an art exhibit, a warehouse full of products only otherwise found on late telemall shopping and listen to some country and western bands. In addition, every day there is two rodeo events with tickets costing $60. However, you can go to the doors an hour before the event and buy standing tickets for $15 which is what we chose to do.

The evening we were there had 10 heats of the Chuckwagon Racing. An interesting event that combines wagon racing, as seen in the photo, with 4 outriders in tow. Teams must complete a figure eight at the start line before continuing and avoid touching barrels markers on the course. While our standing tickets didn’t give the best elevation compared to the grandstand they had us almost on the fence where you can feel the teams of horses thunder by.

Following the racing was a performance by the Young Canadians that was absolutely exhausting. I have never seen a performance involving so many young kids (youngest of about 7 i’d guess) go for so long, have so many costume changes or a fireworks display that could rival most new years eve celebrations. The only photos I managed to take was of these two male gymnasts that had all the ladies screaming, except Gem ( I screamed a little). By the time the show ended we must have been standing for over 4 hours straight.

A great day that could only have been bettered through a showbag full of lollies and gag jokes. Someone will have to pass that tradition on.

-Simon

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