My grandmother lived on Crescent Road in Calgary, overlooking the Bow River.
The view west – at least on a clear day – was of the Rocky Mountains on the horizon. The view south was the downtown. The view east was unremarkable, except for one week every year, when she had a great view of the fireworks that closed the nightly Grandstand Show during the Stampede. As each of us kids reached some age-of-manageability she had set – seven? I don’t remember – we were invited to sleep over at Gram’s house for a few days, with the crowning glory being allowed to stay up late to watch those fireworks through her living room window.
Growing up in Calgary, I never thought much about the Stampede until I met folks across the USA and even in Europe who knew all about it. The stereotypical “Wild, Wild West” may not be how most Albertans lived, even in the early 20th century when the Stampede got started, but it’s part of our story about ourselves.
“The ten-day event, which bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.” – Wikipedia
Coming from Calgary, I should have great shots of the Stampede, but I don’t: not even any bad shots. Something to add to my project list, I guess.
This is one of a series on Canadian national treasures – my sesquicentennial project. They reflect people (living and dead), places and things that I think are worth celebrating about our country, and are done in no order of precedence.