Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stampede 101 - Grandstand Show

Believe or not, I had never been to the Grandstand Show at the Calgary Stampede until this year. I had no idea it was such a great show.

R's parents got tickets for all the adults and we had a night out at the Stampede. First we saw the chuckwagon races, which are a crowd favourite. I met a guy this summer who races chucks. He was saying that the horses are all racehorses who aren't quite fast enough to win horse-races, but they are still dang fast. Pretty exciting stuff. It also reminded me of the Youth Cultural Festival that we did at the Corral back in October 2012 when the new temple was dedicated -- they had some kids doing a mock chuckwagon race in that and they were drifting and powersliding all over the place, and that was just with teenagers pulling the wagons. I can't imagine what it's like to out there real horses and all that speed and thunder.

They wheeled out the stage for the Young Canadians performance when the sun went down. Apparently, the hydraulics in the stage got wrecked in all the flooding, but the re-worked the choreography and it was still massively amazing. A lot of it was suspended high above us from pulleys, so no flooding issues there. Maybe most impressive was the group of Chinese ballet dancers and acrobats who were defying death and danger to stand on round balls while balancing multiple dancers above them. Amazing.

Huge fireworks display at the end. I had seen the fireworks before. In fact, R and I had stayed at the grounds late one night last year to enjoy the fireworks from a bench on the Stampede grounds. However, it is a whole different experience to combine it with the musical performance that is happening on the stage.

I didn't eat any of it because it seemed ridiculously expensive, but they had chocolate-dipped bacon strips available for sale. They also had chili peppers dipped in chocolate. In the end, I ate a red velvet funnel cake which made me feel very, very ill later on.

This is living. This is Stampede.

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