Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Day 20 - The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede!!!  Yes, we are tourist and yes we are going to the Stampede today.  Mom and Dad set their alarm clock nice and early and took a shuttle downtown to go watch the parade.  After the terrible day we had yesterday, we decide to take our time.  We end up arriving at the tail end of the parade.  I call mom on her cell phone and it turns out they are very close to us so we meet them.  Mom tells me that there are tickets set aside everyday that go on sale at 11.  Mom and Dad have tickets to the rodeo at 1300.  Maybe our luck is turning today because we are able to get tickets for the rodeo this afternoon and also to the chuckwagon races tonight.  Matante and mononcle  aren't really interested in going to the stampede.  They are getting their trailer ready for the trip so I ask ma tante if she would watch BB girl for us!! We are so spoiled! Best Auntie in the world!   Before the rodeo starts, we walk around the grounds.  There are a million food vendors but they all seem to be doing well (funny how we look at that stuff since our experience with Two Guys).  There is a really big midway and many exhibits that are actually very interesting.  The rodeo started with the RCMP musical ride.  It was a little long but beautiful. 

RCMP Musical Ride

The rodeo was really fun and as usual very entertaining.  BB Girl was enjoying the show but then the weather turned on us.  It started raining really hard and we had the cheap seats that aren't covered so we decided to head back to the campsite so that BB Girl could have a rest and be good for matante tonight. 

Budweiser Clydesdale
Here is a cute video of BB Girl and Bones

We came back to Stampede park just on time for the chuckwagon races.  The races were cool and interesting.  I didn't really understand how the race worked so we looked it up and this is how it is described;

Chuckwagon racing is a team event, led by a driver who commands a team of horses pulling the chuckwagon, and is supported by two or four outriders, each racing individual thoroughbred horses that follow the chuckwagon. Each race typically involves three or four teams, and begins with the outriders "breaking camp", by tossing two tent poles (with four outriders only) and a barrel representing a camp stove into the back of their wagon before mounting their horses and following the wagons as they complete a figure eight around two barrels before circling a race track. The first wagon to cross the finish line typically wins, although various time penalties are handed out for infractions such as a barrel being knocked over, a tent pole or stove not loaded, wagon interference or an outrider crossing the finish line too far behind his wagon driver.

I have to say that I preferred the rodeo over the chuckwagon because there is a long lull between each chugwagon race but we were really happy to have attended both events. 

The biggest surprise of the day was still to come.  When the races were over, they announced that the show would be beginning in a few minutes.  We had no idea that there was a show after the races but they took out their big tractors and pulled out a huge stage from the side of the track.  Well, it had to be one of the nicest biggest coolest shows we have ever seen.  They had acrobats from cirque du soleil, stunt bikes, performers doing aerial tricks on bicycles, singers and the icing on the cake was Paul Brandt.  He performed at least 5 songs including one of our favourites 'Convoy'.  The show was just amazing.  It was capped off by Paul Brandt signing Happy Birthday with a 12 meter high birthday cake on stage and a crazy fabulous fireworks display.  It was an amazing night!  The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

Grand Finale

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