The Highlight of the Year

Here is a picture of me and my mom taken behind bars at the Calgary Stampede in 1955.  It was my first Stampede, and at a very impressionable seven years old, I was indeed in awe. The Calgary Stampede was always an important part of my mother's life, and in turn, became an important part of my and my family's lives. As a child growing up in Calgary, the Calgary Stampede was the highlight of my year.  Without fail, I would attend Kids' Day - sometimes with my younger brothers and sister in tow. There was always excitement and anticipation in climbing the stairs of the Grandstand to see the show and to savor the possibility of being the winner of the Grand Prize! Since 1955, reflecting on the years in-between then and now conjures up many, many wonderful memories.

The second picture was taken at a luncheon at my mother's Lodge the last Stampede of her life in 2010.  

Over the years, my family has been involved in different aspects of the Calgary Stampede.  We worked at the Stampede grounds in different capacities, as part of the Boys' and Girls' Clubs 'clean-up crew' during the 1980s and 1990s.  During these years, as we roamed the Stampede grounds daily, we had a chance to sample almost every aspect of the Stampede including the end of our work-day where we sat down to enjoy the magical fireworks. Night after night, we never tired of that, and each year we looked forward to the Stampede experience with renewed excitement. The Calgary Stampede affords many wonderful opportunities for the kids of the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Calgary.

In the mid-1990s, I began volunteering for the Calgary Stampede with the Downtown Attractions Committee.  The third picture shows me and another volunteer - Jean Robinson - at the Stampede Information Booth at the Marriott Hotel in Calgary. Over the years we have enjoyed meeting Stampede visitors from all over the world and have helped them to make the most of their experience. Now as part of the Alumni (Jean is still volunteering), I still love being part of volunteering when I can and otherwise our family enjoys being avid spectators.

Congratulations on 100 years of promoting Western Heritage!  We are most certainly looking forward to the celebration.


Lorelei Hajash