Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calgary Stampede

Saturday, July 12, Mom and I "did" Stampede. I've been once before with Meredith so I had an idea of what to expect but we fit a lot more in this time. I had a handful of attractions I specifically wanted to see and we visited all of them and more.

One of the attractions was the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. I admit I didn't recognize most of the names but the displays were neat.

Another section I really wanted to visit was the Indian Village. Many of the brightly painted teepees on site are open for viewing and the people there are very willing to discuss their heritage and culture.

After the Indian Village we made our way to "Weadickville". As the plaque says, "In 1912 the great Stampede was born from the vision of Guy Weadick. Guy was a famous working cowboy and vaudeville entertainer featured in the traveling wild-west shows that were popular world-wide in the early 1900s. He was a man with a dream of celebrating the romance and authentic culture of the old west." Weadickville is dedicated to him. It features a series of historical shops. Our first stop was an original out post for the North West Mounted Police. Next we got some information about Quebec's 400th Anniversary celebrations. Then we stopped in at the Weston Bakery for the most amazing freshly baked strudels I have ever had. They were right out of the oven and still warm! While we ate we listend to "the toe-tapping country tunes of the Keister Family Fiddlers".
Weadickville also offers a General Store, Blacksmith and Ice Cream Shop.
I had my picture taken with "western gun slingers Doc, Snake-Eye, Stringbean and the Sherrif of Weadickville (far right).

Mom and I had our picture taken as we "Made Chuckwagon History" :) And I got to pose with one of the original Olympic torches from the games held in 1988 in Calgary. This one is #4 of 150.

The only other "must do" on my list was to catch a performance of "Barrage". Meredith and I saw them *many* years ago and thoroughly enjoyed their show. When I saw that they were on the schedule at Stampede, I made a point of seeing them. They were just as good as I remembered. If you get a chance to catch this group, make sure you take it.
After the Barrage show Mom and I wandered around a bit. We visited some of the livestock displays, watched some cattle being judged and marvelled at the vast array of fried foods.

We also spent some time watching two of Calgary's top chefs participating in an "Iron Chef" style competition.
I'll put the rest of our day in a separate post.

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