In it's 101st year, the Calgary Stampede calls itself "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth". Stampede is a 10 day city-wide festival that promotes Calgary's western heritage and values...meaning that basically the entire city turns into a country-western homestead complete with rodeos, chuckwagon races, and a midway that rivals any State Fair I've ever seen.
I'd be willing to bet there are more people simultaneously wearing cowboy boots and cowboy hats during opening day of Stampede than there are in the entire state of Texas. It's quite overwhelming.
As you may know, Calgary experienced some massive flooding 2 weeks before Stampede was due to begin. The first thoughts in everyone's minds were obviously loved ones and their homes, but an immediate second thought was: What about Stampede?
Stampede is Alberta's most meaningful event in terms of economics, tourism, and community pride.
And the Stampede grounds were completely under water.
Calgary's beloved and popular Mayor Naheed Nenshi promised that the show would go on.
And y'all, did it ever.
Stampede officials launched the Hell or High Water campaign to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund.
As of July 9th, T-shirt sales with the campaign have raised more than $1 million.
You go, Calgary. You go.
My sister and brother-in-law were gracious hosts as we made our rounds throughout Calgary.
Calgary Airport welcoming committee - getting branded, lasso'd, and serenaded
With my sister at the parade
Sampling the local brews at Wild Rose Brewery
Banff - Canadian Rockies