Calgary Stampede: Come hell or high water

It’s hard to believe that half of Calgary – including the Calgary Stampede grounds and Parade Route – was underwater just 10 days before Stampede started.

(Check out this video that shows a time lapse of the clean up effort:  http://huff.to/1aTFY19 )

Stampede is more than ‘just a party’ as it injects over $345 million each year into the Calgary economy, with 1200 full-time jobs, 3,500 seasonal jobs and millions of dollars raised for local charities.

With stranger helping stranger, in 2013 this city has truly stepped up to help each other.

Which is probably why this year’s Stampede has been so special.

Here are some of my photos from this year that I would like to share with you –

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This year’s official Stampede t-shirt ‘Come Hell or High Water’ says it all. Funds raised from it’s sale go towards Alberta flood relief.

 

 

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It started off with my first ever cowboy hat – from the very cool Smithbilt factory. They mold the crown and brim right in front of you in the back of the shop!

 

 

 

I had the pleasure of volunteering on the Pre-Parade this year as the sign carrier for the Filipino Community dance group. I was honoured.

I had the pleasure of volunteering on the Pre-Parade this year as the sign carrier for the Filipino Community dance group. I was honoured.

 

 

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A couple of friendly navy boys .. and why yes… I am wearing my volunteer ribbon!

 

 

 

Yes, that's a bull being ridden through downtown Calgary

Yes, that’s a bull being ridden through downtown Calgary

 

 

There's a wonderfully diverse range of performers in the Parade

There’s a wonderfully diverse range of performers in the Parade

 

 

Lots of horses. Lots of uniforms. Win-win really.

The RCMP musical ride is always a highlight.

 

 

This year I got to meet the Calgary Stampede mascot: Harry the Horse

This year I got to meet the Calgary Stampede mascot: Harry the Horse

 

 

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One of my favourite places to hang out on the Stampede grounds each year is the Indian Village. Each tipi has it’s own story and has been handed down through ceremony through the generations.

 

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The top of the tipi represents the sky, the middle part represents the animal motives that are particular to the family, and the bottom part represents the earth

 

 

There is a powwow that takes place throughout the Stampede

There is a powwow that takes place throughout the Stampede

 

 

All seven of the local First Nation tribes are represented

All seven of the local First Nation tribes are represented

 

 

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These beautiful work horses are always a highlight before the chuckwagons

 

 

 

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The crowd was eagerly awaiting the evening’s grandstand show to begin!

 

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The show had some great live flame effects – we were only ten seconds in when we got the first blast of fire! And the show didn’t stop building pace from that point on.

 

 

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The show had spectacular lighting, great pyrotechnics and even flying people.

 

 

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Some of the outstanding talent was this Freddie Mercury impersonator. Not only was he brilliant, but he flew in on this white piano

 

 

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The finale had something for everyone – even a couple of magical flying horses.

 

 

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The evening ended a moving tribute to Calgary and it’s flood volunteers. Followed by the traditional fireworks show.

 

 

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