I never forgot my first fireworks

The Calgary Stampede is and always has been a time for family, getting together for Stampede Breakfasts and Bar-B-Q’s .  A lot of my best memories revolve around this most magical time of year... My Grandma used to make all our outfits for the Stampede Parade.  My Aunt Kathy and Grandma used to take us every year to the Parade, back when they used to put flatbed trailers on the sidewalks with folding chairs on them...I remember being in awe of all the amazing floats, the sights and smells of the horses, the Native Americans in all their finery, the Shiners in their little cars, the music of the Stampede Band, all marching in sync.  And The Stampede Queen and her princesses, all so beautiful and thinking how much I wanted to part of that and how one day I would be Stampede royalty. I remember my face hurting so much from all the giggling and the never ending grin. And that constant feeling of knowing that I was apart of something very incredible...I knew, without a doubt, that I was the luckiest girl alive.  Now after all my senses were alive with colors, smells, sights, sounds, we made our way to the grounds, all of my brothers and sisters, sharing with amazement all the things we had witnessed.  Now the time had come, we were on our way to full tummies, sticky faces and the rides, Oh the rides, now my Grandma and Aunt never had a lot of money but they made sure that we all got to experience the Stampede. All the people dressed up in their finest cowboy attire, I would strut looking fine in my new outfit and knowing that we all looked good, people stopping my Grandma telling her how cute we were, I felt so proud and so much love for her, She was an amazing woman.  Now I am dizzy from all the sounds, smells, sights and color assaulting the senses.  There was so much to see and do, I remember seeing Roy Rogers and Dale Evans at the Grandstand, I was in the presence of Stardom.  All day long riding rides, eating cotton candy, candy apples, and going to the exhibits, to this day I never go to the grounds without checking out all the Horse shows, Native American dances, and walking through the barns seeing all the cows, pigs, horses, and the cowboys. After a long day of utter amazement and then the fireworks, now that was something I never forgot was my first fireworks, I had never seen anything like that, it was pure magic. Now we are all tired and on our way home knowing that we would have amazing stories to tell anyone who would listen…And looking back knowing that for that one day of the year I was in fact a Stampede princess, and I have my wonderful Grandma and Aunt to thank for that.


Robyn V Anderson