July 9, 2020

Keeping The Stampede Spirit Alive

Happy Stampede! A strong tradition in Calgary, the Calgary Stampede carries our city’s heritage, community and culture in those 10 days. Despite what has been happening in the world with COVID, Calgary still put on their boots, dusted off their hats and kept the Stampede spirit alive. The first ever Stampede to be cancelled did nothing to stop Calgary from coming together and showing the world how resilient we are.

Even though it might have looked a little different, the feeling of coming together as a city to celebrate the West felt almost the same if you were walking down Stephen Ave. The streets of downtown became the new midway, as people popped into Home & Away for their midway games and $4 shoot the boots. In Kensington, Free House turned into The Corral and the city enjoyed their midway takeout pop up with favourite Stampede foods like corn on a stick and fresh lemonade.

The Mustard Seed teamed up with local BBQ and beer favourites to put together Stampede BBQ in a Box to enjoy at home with your boots on. Wild 95.3, Grizzly Paw Brewery, Big T’s BBQ, and Cask Canning came together for this delicious way to raise money for The Mustard Seed. Everything tastes better when it’s for a good cause. Proceeds from these meals will go to supporting impoverished men, women, and children in Calgary, by giving them basic necessities, programming, and long term care.

Community Spirit Was Not Cancelled

There was no parade to watch from the curbside, but we tuned into the live stream of the Parade Marshal Filipe Masetti’s arrival into Calgary. There weren’t the usual lineups at the pancake breakfasts, but the BMO Kid’s Day Pancake Drive-Thru down at Stampede Park kept the kids happy. The spirit of Stampede was in the car that day, mini cowboys and cowgirls and all.

Throughout the week, we tuned in to social media to follow #Stampede2020 and it almost felt like we were a part of all the backyard pancake breakfasts, the patio, and the front lawn line dancing. Even if we couldn’t crowd the Grounds, we could feel the city’s spirit and see the parade of the Western wear we all save in our closet during the year.

Thefireworks on the first Friday brought back the nostalgia of closing out anothergreat day of Stampede and will finish off the week on July 12. The lights mayhave been out at the Grounds, but the skyline was filled with the memorablefirework lights.

With no surprise, Calgary stepped it up (in cowboy boots, no less) to show the world that despite the challenges, the setbacks and the fear of unknown, we are a strong community. In a time that people need to unite and support one another, Calgary, once again, showed up for each other to keep the Stampede spirit alive.

Andrea Goertz, Chief Operating Officer