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Calgary Stampede - July 8th 2008

The thing that started this whole Calgary adventure was that we wanted to go to the Calgary Stampede, and finally, on the second last days of the trip, we went.

We had bought tickets for the rodeo and the show/chuck wagon races in advance, which also meant that we didn't have to pay admission to get in. We parked a couple of blocks away (a difficult task - every lot seemed to be full, and we had to pay $20 to park), and then we walked to Olympic Park. We went straight to the grandstand to see the rodeo (the part that I was looking forward to the most). Staff were very helpful when we asked them how to get to the grandstand, or to our seats, and everyone was very friendly.

Since we'd arrived late, we weren't sure what rodeo events had already happened (Bruce and I were concerned that we may had missed the bull riding). Thankfully, we saw every event that we were interested in (bareback, saddle bronc, bull riding, calf roping, and barrel racing). It was a great rodeo, and moved along very quickly! I had been expecting long waits between riders or events, but everything seemed to flow smoothly. If there happened to be a longer break, then the clown entertainer did a fantastic job of keeping the crowd preoccupied. I would definitely go back to watch the rodeo again - it was incredible to watch such amazing riders perform, as well as such impressive animals.

Next, it was time for a bit of shopping! Bruce was in search of a new band for his cowboy hat, so we stopped at a lot of hat stores (and there were a ton!) in search of an appropriate band. We finally found one, and now his 25-year old hat looks like new!

There were a lot of very interesting stores that we stopped at - and we only got to see a very small portion of what was available. The stampede is just so big that I think people need to go to it a couple of times just to see the whole thing!

After we ate some diner, it was time for the chuck wagon races and then the show. The chuck wagon races were impressive, and the horses are incredible athletes, but it wouldn't be something that I would watch again.

After such a long and tiring week, and a long drive ahead of us to get back to the motel at which we were staying, we didn't get to spend a lot of time at the Calgary Stampede Show.

All in all, I think that I would go back to see the Stampede again. I do not think that I would watch the chuck wagon races again, but I would love to see the rodeo again (and do some more shopping!). The Stampede was a lot of fun, and I don't think that it will be long before we're back for more!

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Thursday, July 25, 2024