My Favorite Time of Year

Growing up, the community I lived in always had a pancake breakfast the first Sunday of Stampede Week. This was also always the day my Mom and Uncle would take me to the Stampede. Between rides, games, delicious food and more, the Stampede was something I began to love at a very young age.

In 2004 I joined the Calgary Round Up Band, and since then have gone through the Calgary Stetson Show Band, the Calgary Stampede Showband and am now a volunteer for the Stampede as I am a member of A Band of Outriders.

Over the past 8 years, Stampede week has become my favorite time of year. While for myself I have adapted my yearly traditions (cookies and cream fudge from Weadickville, freshly squeezed lemonade and of course a performance from the Heebee Geebees at the Coca Cola stage), there is no greater feeling than actually being a part of the Calgary Stampede.  Performing each day for hundreds of people is such a great opportunity and is so much fun. I’m so lucky to have been able to take part in performances at the rodeo, in the Grandstand show, in the Saddledome, in the Parade and so much more. There is nothing else in the world like the Calgary Stampede.

While the Stampede means many things to many people, it is really something I am proud of and look forward to each year. It is what our city is known for, but more than that it is a way to hold on to a part of our heritage.

While my old community no longer has that yearly Stampede breakfast, there are so many other things that tell me Stampede time is here. Driving downtown the first time I see the Stampede flags up, I get giddy inside—even at 22 years old. There’s just something about tradition that I look forward to each year.

This year’s Centennial celebration is something I’ve been looking forward to. I cannot wait to see what’s in store and I’m ready for the biggest and most excited crowds yet.

Yeeeehaw!

-Kimberley Lawrence