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The Calgary Stampede began July 5, 2013 with an amazing opening ceremony. The city of Calgary, very much a western town, comes to life as people from all over the world travel to enjoy the 101 year old event. Restaurants, hotels and other service industry groups wear western clothing to get into the spirit of the event.
Downtown becomes a focal point as visitors dine off of the chuck wagons sponsored by various companies in the Calgary area. Flour, one of the largest sponsors of the Stampede, placed several chuck wagons around the square and everyone cued up to enjoy the local rancher delicacies. Each wagon had three cooks and a rodeo clown to greet their dining guests. It’s simple, fun and a great way to spend a Stampede morning in Calgary.
The rodeo began around 11:00 am with a dynamic opening ceremony where young cowgirls in Calgary’s traditional fiery red and sporting the country flags of competitors from around the world. Four cowboys ‘flew’ in on cables from the top of the grand stand into the center of the rodeo arena while all the competitors formed together to sing the national anthem. This spectacular ceremony celebrated and reflected the pride and dignity of the West. A vision not soon forgotten.
After the rodeo, the chuck wagon races commenced and provided some of the days most dramatic entertainment as four wagons raced each heat to accumulate points for the finals at the end of the week long event. This superbowl of rodeos concluded with a grandstand show performed by the Young Canadians which is comprised of 135 of Canada’s talented youth ranging from age 11-21. The show featured well known songs from world famous artists and performed with a youthful exuberance and joy guaranteed to please any audience, young or old.
The flight to Calgary for the event commenced on WestJet from the DFW International Airport where the service matched the rest of the spirit of the Calgary stampede. Regardless of how you might get there, if you’ve never been, just get there because Calgary has something very special in store for you. The Hotel Arts provided for excellent boutique accommodations with a very enjoyable dining experience at their Raw Bar for breakfast. Also, for a great dining experience, just around the corner you might like to try the food at Buzzards Bar and Grill. Enjoy your visit!