Kelsey Does Calgary: Stampede wrap-up
By Kelsey Hipkin
And the winner is…
First up, because my friends have been badgering me about it, the final numbers for the Stampede Calorie Challenge. James Paton and I went head to head in a gastronomical adventure of epic proportions. The Stampede Midway is always a cornucopia of fabulous foods from all over the world; Greek, Mexican and Chinese foods mingle with the sweetness that is mini donuts and cotton candy and the greatness that is Alberta beef (if you didn’t try it this year, the buffalo ribs were grand!). Anyways, back to the calorie challenge, it was a narrow margin of 300 calories in the end…and the winner was…me. I consumed just over 3500 calories and James was just over 3200, not too shabby at all, not too shabby and more than likely not too healthy! Just want to reiterate, don’t try this at home kids!
The Stampede and Young Canadians always put fantastic effort into the Grandstand Show and this year was no exception. This years theme, “World Party” according to the stamepde website was to, “pay tribute to the western heritage and values that draw visitors and guests from all across the world to the Calgary Stampede every year.” Eva Avila and Ta’Rea Campbell (who has played Nala in Broadway’s The Lion King) were the main voices of the show that featured Cirque de Soleil acts as well as a Michael Jackson tribute. The high flying motorcycle heroics of the Calgary Stampede Extreme Dream Team were, as usual, one the highlights while the artistic, high flying acrobatics of Laetitia and Artur lent a romantic and impassioned feel. All in all a visually stunning show.
I don’t know if there’s anywhere else on earth that you can catch the awesomeness that is the Coca Cola Stage just for the price of Stampede admission. Photographer Aris Aristorenas did some awesome shooting for the ‘Flec at Coke stage showcasing some of the amazing acts that included, OK Go, The Barenaked Ladies and Glass Tiger. I caught the Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean concert on July 17 and it was an amazing show despite the not so great sound at the ‘Dome. Martina McBride played the final night on the Coke Stage and though I’m completely miffed that I missed it, I bet she blew Cowtown away with her amazing pipes.
Million Dollar Rodeo
Two firsts in this regard: for the first time in four years I didn’t go see the chuckwagon finals…sad face (but ya’ll can see some epic chuck’ photos by photographer and eater, James Paton). But, I did see the rodeo finals for the first time and they were amazing. Biggest story of the day would belong to cowboy Chet Johnson who had six rides in the saddlebronc competition only to be bucked off in the final four. There’s an excitement in the air at the rodeo competition that isn’t conveyed on your television screen, a fabulous round-up to what was the crazy ten days that is the Calgary Stampede and enough to bring out a little cowboy in the most hardened of city slickers. Check out the top ten results here.