We Attended the Parade and Kids Day Every Year
This photo of my brothers and family friends was published in the Calgary Herald in 1958 or 1959 during Stampede Week. You can see by the looks on my brothers’ faces how thrilled they were to be a part of this day.
My Mom, Betty Quinn, made sure her children attended the Stampede Parade and Kids Day every year, until we were in our teens. We never had a car so you can imagine how hard it was for her to get four kids, a picnic lunch and assorted hats and jackets onto the street car and off again, all together.
My Dad, Jim, worked at the No. 1 Legion on 7th Ave. so that’s where we would sit (on the curb) every year. Besides having a good vantage point we were able to use the bathroom! We sometimes took the street car to the grounds which is where we had lunch by the river where the Indian Village used to be.
On Kids Day, the fun for my mom started all over again - four kids, lots of snacks, hats, jackets and assorted guns. In those days children got to see the rodeo and the chuckwagon races free, then off to lunch at our favourite spot and then every ride we could get on. It must have been so tiring for my mom during these two days, but she was a Saskatchewan farm girl and loved it all. Especially the barns – she made us go through the barns as well. After all, it was part of our Alberta heritage.
When I think of all those stampedes now, I treasure the time we had together as a family. Ironically, my mom died Friday, July 7, 2000, which was a Parade day. How fitting.
Not to be outdone by my cowboy brothers, I participated in the Stampede Parade in 1945, when I was three. The war had ended and my Dad was coming home soon. My Mom thought it would be very appropriate for me to be a nurse pushing my wounded dollies in the carriage. I must have impressed somebody because I won third prize!!
In honour of my mother, my children, grandchildren and I go to the Stampede as often as we can. We take in the rodeo, a few rides and visit the barns. My mom would be so proud of us.
Jeanne Bunka (Quinn)