The Little Red Cowgirl

The Calgary Stampede in the 1960's...I was just a wee girl and mom made us matching red cowgirl outfits...one for my sister and all of my cousins from Manitoba too. We wore these every year, complete with fringes and little straw hats with plastic whistles for cheering on the parade.

Each year, parade day was exhilarating. Dad's office was on 9th Ave and we would wake up at the crack of dawn to head down to the office to greet the other employee's families and eat our homemade muffins in the staff room while the dads constructed the make shift bleachers...often condemned by the parade security!

The parade would start after a long chilly roadside sit....but no-one minded the wait. This was once a year and we were pumped. The bands shook the stands and the horses marched along, each float offering a different treat for the senses. These are the memories of Stampedes past and as a native Calgarian (so is my 81 year old dad) those visions are forever in my mind each and every year. My son won't wear a little red cowboy outfit and a whistle on his hat anymore, but I can reminisce and that is what this year is all about.

Trish Exton-Parder