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Stampede 2012: 100 Years of YeeHaw!


The Calgary Stampede and a handsome man – what else could I need to have an amazing Wednesday?! Although we haven’t gone every year since we moved here as a couple, we decided to go to the Stampede this time around for its 100th birthday. The weather’s been hot so it really felt like summer – the perfect day to walk around and enjoy the festivities. 

It’s a tradition in this city to celebrate all things cowboys, indians and the wild, wild west once a year and continues to draw people from around the world to Calgary. For a glimpse at more of its history and information about “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” check out this wikipedia link

After an early wake up call, I squeezed in 5 miles before my first client and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise around a small local lake. 

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I arrived back home and we both got a few things done before hitting the road, dressed in our finest Stampede wear (cough, cough – we don’t own much in the Western department, although the rest of the city would show you otherwise if you visited). when we arrived on the grounds so we began the day the best way we could think of: with ice cream!

YumWe spent the beginning of our time at the Stampede walking around the BMO Centre and checking out the myriad of booths – so many items that no one needs but that are legitimately cool! We always go into an event like this setting a budget for ourselves and allowing one “treat” (if we see something we like). Mikey had lost a great hat on a river trip a few years ago and has been waiting to attend the Stampede again to see one, so he was gunning for that and I had nothing specific in mind. 

Soon thereafter, he found a great replacement – almost identical save for the color! And I ended up with a neat feather ring from an artist in Victoria, BC – my first and only piece of gold jewlery!

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We realized it was 3 pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch (except for our 1-scoop of ice cream each) so we popped outside to the food truck ally for some local delights from an Indian food truck that has local, orgnanic food and was close to healthy-ish for Stampede food!

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We loved our choices (I got the chick pea bites while Mikey got the Naaco bites – a twist on the classic fair fare: corn dogs! They looked similar to mine but without the pita on a bread of coleslaw. The flavors were great and the portion small (great for the belly, not the best for the price) and we were generally happy with our tasty choices! We continued exploring and enjoyed reading different signs, hearing a bit about the history of the Stampede, and taking prime opportunities for photo op’s!

Stampede scenes

After all the walking it was finally time to sit down, so we took in two shows that sounded great: Recycled Percussion and Trampoline Wall. Both were AMAZING! The Recycled Percussion band won 3rd place in the recent season of “America’s Got Talent” and they were amazing showmen (not only super talented percussion-wise, but creative and simply put on a great show). Fun to see a Vegas act for free under the Canadian sun!

Recycled percussion

And the trampoline act was made up of three people (a woman from France, a man from Montreal and another guy from Edmonton) who brought their solo trampoline acts from around the world together. They were super fit, had great expressions, and fun music that contributed a ton to their act. I can’t believe how high they jumped/fell from – really unbelievable!


Finally it was time for the evening event: the chuckwagon races and Grandstand Show. The Chucks were awesome – even though we had standing seats, we were right at the front and loved seeing the out-riders and horse teams up close! The history behind the races is super interesting, and I love learning more about it every year and really got into it for the first time this year, cheering and “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” with the crowd.

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And the Grandstand show? Outstanding and over the top, with amazing acts by The Young Canadians, local Calgary-boy (who got his start at the Stampede Talent Show years ago!) Paul Brandt, and different acts from Tokyo, Poland, the nearby Tsu-T’ina Native Reserve and Beijing. They really did it up for the 100th year of the Calgary Stampede, finishing with a flashmob and singing “Happy Birthday” to the Stampede. 😉
All in all it was a great experience. I’m pretty wiped out today, though, after getting home and to bed at 12:30 am and waking up at 4:45 am for work. Oh well – I told myself it’s once a year, I can stay up late on a weekday with an early morning…took it for the team, you know. 😉 I am seriously dragging today but am done 3 clients already (6, 7 and 8 am), have enjoyed a late-breakfast for Britt’s birthday at work today (more “Stampede” breakfasts – eggs, pancakes, sausage and fruit!), and am about to take a Plyo-Cardio class as I will be subbing it twice next week in addition to teaching two “Post-Stampede” boot camps! Going to be a stretch and challenge for me but I’m looking forward to facing some gears a bit – just like Janetha did with her handstand push ups (you gotta check out her post about facing that fear and smashing her idea of what she could and could not do – so inspiring!). 😀
Well, time for me to gear down and relax before bed – it’s been a full day! Hope you guys have an incredible weekend – we’re camping with some friends despite a rainy forecast. What are you guys up to? And have you heard of or been to the Stampede? I’d love to know!
Live well & be well,
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