Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Calgary Stampede

You may think you don't care about Stampede. But let's look at it this way- right here on my cozy little blog you'll be able to quickly learn about the biggest rodeo in the world, giving you the ability to discuss it with your friends and look like a smarty-pants. Yahoo!

See? You just learned something: the battle-cry of Stampede. It's not "yee-ha" or "whoop-de-do." If you toss your cowboy hat in the air and yell one of these phrases, NOBODY will slap you on the back and buy you a beer. Quite the opposite. People will avoid you, assuming you're a terrorist trying to blend in. Or worse- an American.

"Ya-hoo!!" is the only accepted Stampede call. It is so beloved that your boss will merely smile and give you the afternoon off if you yell it during a meeting and the judge will order a keg for the proceedings if you yell it in court. But ONLY during Stampede week. Oddly enough, you go back to being ostracized if you yell "Yahoo!" at any other time during the year.

So, it all starts with a parade early on a Friday morning. Frankly, I find parades boring but we were invited to a  party where we were provided with bleacher seats...

live music...

a hot breakfast and -get this- BEER:

Nothing says "morning" like a tall, cold one! I resisted until about 10:30. It was hot, they were passing them out in the bleachers, I took one. I gotta say, the parade suddenly became a lot more interesting. Ya-hoo!!

As the morning wore on and the beer flowed, our group started to cheer for EVERYBODY who passed in front of us. Even the street sweeper, following behind the horses:


Even this guy:


Even...oops...yeah, we cheered for the fuzz:

"Ya-"  *cough*

Let's move on. What you WEAR for Stampede is just as important as what you yell. Obviously, the cowboy hat is de rigueur. (But please- never say "de rigueur" out loud. It's annoying.) Back to the obligatory lid:

Yep- even THEY wore cowboy hats when they came for Stampede last year.

Then pair cowboy boots with anything at all and you're good to go-

Stampede is many things: a rodeo, a fair and a chance to see world class shows.  

The whole town gets into Stampede spirit:

In summary, The Calgary Stampede keeps alive the spirit of the old west. It reminds us of Alberta's humble  beginnings when those brave men and women blazed a trail into the unknown so that we might one day enjoy the beauty of this great province. Also, during Stampede, we get to party a lot. Thanks, brave men and women! I tip my cowboy hat to you.


Anonymous said...

Why no comments? Great pics, amusing blog. C'mon people, what in the heck do you want??

Sigh. Sorry Caryl. The masses can't comprehend.


caryl said...

PFS, thank you, thank you, thank you! I was wondering the same thing. lol

Nope, I'm not back yet. Just checking in. I only paid for a few minutes, so I gotta go!