“We will be hosting the greatest outdoor show on Earth come hell or high water,” said Bob Thompson, Stampede president and board chairman. “In its 101-year history, the Calgary Stampede has never been cancelled, despite two wars and the Great Depression.”
And the show certainly went on.
The 10-day Calgary Stampede wrapped up on Sunday after kicking off, as planned, on July 5. Only two weeks earlier, much of Stampede Park located near downtown Calgary, was under water due to the flooding that hit Calgary and southern Alberta in late June. This shows you what can be accomplished with hard work and determination. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I don’t think most people realize how much work was required to get the grounds ready in time. Many people worked round the clock – first contractors and then staff and volunteers. In the meantime, Stampede volunteers were volunteering at other locations around the city such as evacuation centres to help with the devastating effects of the flood.
Check out this video of the transformation of Stampede Park – Our Second Century Begins.
Here’s a video dedicated to the amazing Stampede volunteers.
Once again, I had the privilege of volunteering for three days with the Agriculture Media committee. This is a great group of people and I always enjoy it.
Some people questioned whether the Stampede should go ahead as planned. I believe going ahead was the right decision even though it required much hard work and effort. It boosted the morale of a devastated city. It showed that our community spirit cannot be washed away. I was proud to have been a part of the flood recovery efforts in southern Alberta.
Finally, I’m going to leave you with this touching song written by Albertan Corb Lund as a tribute “to everyone who’s been toughing it out dealing with the flood damage in southern Alberta.” He says, “My song Blood, Sweat and Water uses Stampede as a metaphor for the city’s courage, hard work and resilience.”
Click on this link to listen: http://m.soundcloud.com/corblund/blood-sweat-water
Keep an eye on this blog for great photos from Stampede101!