Reuniting at the Calgary Stampede

I am originally from Elliot Lake, Northern Ontario, and moved west 13 years ago.  I had to say goodbye to a lot of dear friends when I moved here.  A lot of people left my home town to find work years before I left. 

Last year one of those dear friends Heidi, made plans to come out west for a visit.  I talked her into making her plans so that we could take in the Stampede while she was here.  I called my cousin Danni-Lynn who lives in Calgary about getting us some tickets, as she also was part of our friendship. 

The two of them had not seen each other in about 25 years when she moved to Alberta.  For me it had been about 15 years or so.  Danni got ahold of another one of her friends, Anne, who got us 4 tickets to the Stampede and the Chuckwagon Races. It was all set, just had to wait for Heidi to arrive.

It took a few months that seemed like forever, and then the Air Canada strike that had us worried Heidi might not arrive, but then I picked her up at the airport and the fun times began.  We drove down to Cowtown, spent a few days reuniting with Danni, and gave her a tour of Banff and then our big day at the Stampede finally arrived.

It was great, we took in a few of the shows, on ice, a great way to cool off in the hot sun, the pavilion with lots & lots of shopping, scored some great buys. We watched the hypnotist, who was so entertaining, and walked the park taking in all that the Stampede had to offer.  It was so fantastic, sharing stories, wandering around the Park, taking it all in.  Danni's friend, Anne, who was more familiar with the Stampede, made an excellent tour guide.  We all got new hats, I added to my collection with a nice white one.  I had been to the Stampede once before and couldn't wait to see the Chuckwagon races live, as I watch them often on TV but this would be my first live viewing at the Stampede.

The races were amazing, the show was spectacular, and the performance was flawless.  Our seats were just perfect that we wouldn't have even known it was raining except the poor performers were getting wet, but the show went on without a glitch.  The fireworks were dazzling and the perfect end to a perfect day.

On the drive back to my cousins we couldn't stop talking about all that we did during the day and how much fun we had.  Heidi even talked about coming back this summer for the Stampede.  Not sure if she will make it but she was really impressed with the whole event.  I felt such a feeling of accomplishment to have been able to share this with her.  A memory to add to our times together.  Danni, Anne and I will be going this summer even if Heidi doesn't make it and plan to get tickets for the afternoon show this year.

I've included a few pictures of our day, there were so many to choose from.  Thank you to the Calgary Stampede for helping make 3 friends reunion and time with a new friend, so memorable.

Kimber Kennedy