For the first time in 108 years there will be no Calgary Stampede in 2020. Unprecedented!
For the first time in 20 years I will not be spending the first half of July down at the Stampede Grounds as a volunteer. The last 15 years have been spent in and around the barns and the infield as a volunteer with the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Committee.
I will miss the parade on Friday morning; the opening night of the wagon races; telling newcomers about the sport of wagon racing and how it’s an integral part of the Calgary Stampede – the excitement on their faces!
I will miss the final heart stopping race on Championship Sunday and the photos with the winning team!
I will miss the crazy weather that accompanies Stampede week and the frenzy caused by sudden downpours on cowboys, wagons and fair goers. And the fabulous fireworks every single night (from the barns we had the best seat in the house)!
As a born and raised Calgarian, The Stampede has always been a part of my life, for my entire life. My grandfather rode broncs at the Calgary Stampede, as did my uncle, and they were both inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. My father as a young man rode as an outrider for a local chuckwagon team in the fifties.
Cousins and lots of other family and friends have competed at the Stampede. I even did a stint competing in the preliminaries for the Extreme Cowboy Challenge!
When I was a small girl, I remember mother making fancy, western-style dresses for my sister and I to go watch the parade in. My brothers wore what they always wore, boots and jeans.
But in 2020, we got bucked off!
The Covid-19 pandemic has cancelled the greatest show on earth for the first time in its history! I will miss it this year, and everything about it that makes the Calgary Stampede so special.
But as true Calgarians and Albertans, and in the true spirit of the Stampede…
We will ride again!
Covid-19 has disrupted our daily lives and every other major event around the world. It has been a time of uncertainty, confusion and exhaustion. But we will climb back up in that saddle and we’ll ride again!
The Calgary Stampede will be back and I look forward to seeing you all again next year, at a pancake breakfast, along the parade route, or down at the barns!
Stay healthy and well,
Sue-Anne Wearmouth, Principal Designer and Cowgirl at Sawbrand Design
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