The Stampede is Calgary’s showpiece event. The whole town goes apesh*t for it, so we thought it best to see what all the fuss was about. In a month where weather had been pretty darn good, we struck the worst day by far, it was freeeezing. But we had tickets already and didn’t want to miss out, so wrapped up warm and made our way into town.
Despite the weather there was still a good attendance mingling around the stalls and rides. Enough of a crowd at least for Dad to get lost anyway. Once we found him again (I think he went off like a naughty boy to find the candy floss machine), we watched an extremely weird band playing. How weird you say? Well, one of the guy was dressed in a cow outfit, so pretty weird. Mum and Dad then embarrassed Nic and I by making us take a photo of them outside the toilets. They thought it was great that the signs said cowboys and cowgirls instead of male and female. Everyone coming out of the toilets thought we were perverts, luckily we didn’t get arrested.
Before taking our seats in the grandstand, I bought
some candy floss. It was delightful, well until about 3 hours later when my stomach felt like it was going to explode. Once seated, amongst the thousands of people wearing cowboy hats (I heard a rumour that people born in Calgary come out with a cowboy hat on), we watched the chuck wagon racing. It is a strange race, I’d love to tell you how it works but Wikipedia does it better: Chuckwagons are raced around a figure eight barrel obstacle, and the stove and tent poles within the wagon must not be lost. The racing team also has four "outriders" who load the stove and tent poles at the start and must finish the race with the chuckwagon. So essentially there is a manic start with horses and carts everywhere, and then at the end it is hard to know who won because not only does the wagon have to cross the line, but also the four horse riders. If you’re still confused then watch the video, it may clear things up.
Because it was raining the day we were there, the riders were absolutely covered from head to toe in mud, I have no idea how they
knew where they were going, I guess the horses are so well trained they lead the riders. We had little bets between ourselves on the winners of each race, I think I was last in every race. Lucky I didn’t bet my house on it, as I hear my parents and Nicola are prone to kneecapping people that owe them debts.
After the racing, we got to see a spectacular concert - the performers ranging from a guy called Johnny Bagpipes who was playing rock songs on his bagpipes to Cirque du Soleil performers. One of which was a native Indian that did amazing tricks with hoola hoops. He must have been spinning about 30 at one stage.
They also made the show nice and cheesey by interviewing the first Miss Calgary Stampede, by having a Kiss cover band, and parading out the native Miss Stampede’s who had the names: Gaylene Rose Weasel Child and Nicole Yellow Old Woman Curly Rider. Awesome names huh? I wonder what mine would be? I like the sound of Ryan Cougar Face Mantis Man.
The show finished with an impressive fireworks display before we got lost in the rain trying to
A Kiwi that loves to travel. I, like every other traveler, would love to be a travel writer, so if you're reading this and want to pay me mega bucks then I suppose I could be persuaded. If you'd like to check out some of my other work then have a look at the satirical website that me and a few friends have created: http://www.getfact.co.nz... full info
The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year...more info