Thanks for the Memories

To all of you within the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede family,

HAPPY 100th ANNIVERSARY!!

As a proud native Calgarian, I could not let this momentous event go by without writing to you to pass on my heartiest of congratulations. In this day and age, not too many organizations can boast a 100 year record of success. Two other big names come to mind; IBM and the Oreo Cookie, but nothing can compare to my beloved Calgary Stampede.

I am 47 years old, and from as far back as I can recall, the Calgary Stampede has been a special part of my life. I will always be indebted to my parents (Gordon & Eileen Ferguson) for instilling the excitement and eagerness to participate each and every year. Mom would sew my brother Doug and I matching outfits (as seen in attached photo..taken approx in 1970) and Dad (who was a Calgary City Policeman) would ensure we got prime spots along the parade route as well as a terrific view of the fireworks. As a young girl my brownie troupe was even in the parade, dressed as cowgirls! Dad was often an escort for famous people who were in the parade, such as the McGuire Sisters and Burl Ives. Just the other day, Doug and I walked along Scotchman's Hill, and I could still picture the old grandstand where we had so many wonderful times.

We often went to the rodeo, and enjoyed watching the cowboys wrangle a steer or ride the bucking broncos. In the evening during the 10 days we often went to the Grandstand show, cheering on our favourite chuckwagon while the legendary Joe Carbury called them in! One of my favourite memories is sitting in the Grandstand and listening to The Stampeders singing "Sweet City Woman" as a child. So wonderful that they are back again for this special year! The Indian Village stands out as one of the best places to visit to admire the gorgeous beadwork and craftsmanship of their elaborate costumes, and to get a sense of what life was like on the prairie before settlers came. Also, to watch in awe their talents at dancing, drumming and singing.

Our 24 year old twins Sean and Melissa (pictured in the attached photos on horses) have never missed a year at the Stampede, and love it just as much as I do. Also, my husband Darren (who is originally from Ontario) is a Calgary Stampede aficionado, too! We never miss it, and often go down to the park on a date night, as well.

The Calgary Stampede is dubbed The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, and deservedly so. Great pains must be taken to honour not only our western heritage and pioneer spirit, but to also keep it current with concerts, arts & craft shows, fabulous prizes up for grabs and events that appeal to the younger people. No visit would be complete without frequenting the concession stands and strolling happily out at the end of the day with a bag of mini donuts!

I have made many friends on Facebook from all over the globe, and have become quite the ambassador for the Calgary Stampede; linking them to your site and sending them YouTube videos of past Parades and attractions to check out. I could go on and on, but really, all that is left is to say THANK YOU for the memories, CONGRATULATIONS again and YEEEEEEE HAAAAAAWWWWWWW!! Will see you this year!

Sincerely
Karen, Darren, Sean & Melissa Lundy
Eileen & Doug Ferguson (my Dad sadly passed away in 2008)