An Ambassador of the Calgary Stampede

From 1985-1988, I was given the opportunity to be an ambassador of the Calgary Stampede.  I was 15 years old when I started performing in the Calgary Stampede Show Band.  For 3 years I was a part of kicking off the Stampede by leading the Stampede Parade.  I practically lived at the park for the entire 10 days as I participated in many parades and shows; including the Grandstand show.

I loved being a part of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.  These memories impacted me so much that I wrote about the Calgary Stampede for a Grade 11 English assignment.  This is what I wrote:

Stampede Memory

One hot July summer day,
A stampede of people,
herded through the gates
in anticipation of the thrills and shrills
of the Calgary Stampede.

I remember the many mothers
and fathers pulling on the reins
of their children
to ensure that they wouldn't leave their side.

Boys in holy blue jeans,
gaudy checkered shirts and black villain cowboy hats
begged to ride the coaster just one more time.

Girls in pretty denim skirts, frilly blouses
and white straw hats with soap-bar whistles
squealed in delight as their fathers won the stuffed creature with black plastic ears.

And as the sun fried,
dehydrated children demanded the pink candy floss
over the quenching, ice cold lemonade.
In the end, parents gave in to both sweet treats.

I watched as groups paired up
to take a spin on the ferris wheel.
The laughter, excitement and shrieks
filled the air.

As children got hot and cranky,
parents rounded up the ice-cream stained shirts,
purple mouths and sticky fingers, then headed into the Corral.
There was a potpourri of booths to look at in every direction.
Vibrating chairs to help your aching back,
vegetables being turned into super juice,
and super dogs turned crowds into lovers of man's best friend.

Dusk soon settled, the day dwellers left
and the night dwellers sauntered in.
The fair's atmosphere slowly changed
as the sky was blanketed for the night.
Rides lit up, smells of those little donuts
and chants of, "Do you wanna go faster?!" echoed through the air.

The haunted house came alive,
and screams from inside
made the outsiders hang on tight to each other
before they entwined with the demons of the night.

Senses were heightened at the Calgary Stampede;
corn dogs on a stick,
spicy pepperoni pizza,
candied apples,
hot buttered popcorn,
smoking Bingos,
cool night air,
clanking roller coasters,
and the music of the Grandstand show in the distance
sent eyes, ears, mouths, and noses into overdrive.

And as the night came to an end,
colourful patterns and designs filled the sky,
popping and making thunderous, crackling sounds.

And when the last one pierced through the sky and cracked into a fountain of crystals,
the magic of the night ceased.

When the last cowboy exited the gate, all that was heard
was the wind blowing the night away
in anticipation of a new day at
The Calgary Stampede.

I am now 41 years old and have 2 sons.  It is important to me that I can make lasting memories with them during this Centennial celebration of the Calgary Stampede.

Anne Mouck