Granville st. Vancouver, July 15th. 2010.
-“Stampeeeede! you can’t miss it men, you can’t miss it!”- With these words a freaky weird guy from Vancouver encouraged us to visit the Annual Calgary Stampede knowing we were about going to the Rockies the day after. So after some exchange of confident glances with my friends, we made up our minds to detour our itinerary in order to reach Calgary before the Stampede’s closing ceremony three days ahead.
Just entered in Alberta on our “drive around the clock” way to Calgary.
Calgary, July 18th. 2010.
Was the event’s last day when we reach the Stampedes parking after one hour driving in circles and zig-zags and trying how to manage to find the venue among the chaotic and disperse indications set in the roads of Calgary. Actually we could reach the place thanks to a guy from a residential neighborhood who gave us clear directions not before letting us know that we were late for the last rodeo of the season… but not for the very last and closing event in the GMC Arena, the Chuck Wagon Race!
In the parking at the point to get inside.
The first task we had to do in the Stampede was purchasing the tickets for the Chuck Wagon Race. Once with them in our hands and a couple of hours to spend before the time, we checked what the fair had to offer us and went to wander around the place.
Nashville Saloon with a live band performing country songs like the hit of our roadtrip “The Gambler”.
Somehow this North-america’s acclaimed event is not to far in essence from the fairs we have all the year though in the town festivities in Spain, regardless the cowboys, of course. Anyway, to kill the time before the Race we get inside a venue where different sorts of performances related with the Western and Cowboy culture were being displayed.
Wild west style diligence or stagecoach performance hosted by this fat midwestern guy and his 21 years skinny horse…
This is a horse-acrobat family doing tricks… not a great deal of entertainment but some awesome tricks though.
And this was a choreographed parade driven by a bunch of beauty cowgirls.
Those performances were an amusing experience after all, but for sure the best point for our european eyes was the audience! Fake cowboys or not, aren’t they authentic? Note: in the whole event you could tell apart the real cowboys from the people in disguise looking at their hats. The real cowboys wear the leader ones whereas the others have hats made on plastic or fibers like those ones in the pics above.
This is us struggling against ourselfs about the decition of buying a real hat (all of them over 60$) or taking a so fake one…! Finally we ended up with neither real nor fake…
Therefore with no hats over our heads and not being accepted as a cowboys anymore our last choice remained in joining to a native tribe!
So after having killed the time on those spectacles and with a “beef on a bun” already in our guts we headed to the GMC Arena to see the so called amazing Chuck Wagon Race!
Coming up… Stampede part 2!