Stampede Day Zero

Back of the block

The next few posts are going to revolve around my time as a somewhat regular patron at what we call "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth." Also known as the Calgary Stampede.

The High-Divers right before Showband

This is the first time in a very very long time I attended the Stampede by choice (last time I did I believe I was around the age of 9 or so), and at this point it seems like a very normal thing to be there for extended periods of time doing mindless tasks and just counting the days go by; enjoying the moments, but really just wanting what seems like the longest ten days of your life to end. This may seems a little extreme for those who have not been through it, but maybe those who share a similar sentiment towards the festive occasion here in Calgary. With all this said, I do genuinely love the time I've spent in the organization as a performer (though, in the moment of it all, I didn't quite feel this way), looking back at it, they are some of the fondest memories, and the greatest moment of growth to this day.

Day zero starts quite late for the common patron, park opens around 5:00, and closes around 10 or 11. Some of the normal events and performances don't happen this night and was quite tame and quiet for a day at Stampede, but the spirit of the time of year is still ever-present. I decided to go around the grounds right around 5:00 or so, to explore and see if anything has changed from the previous year; not a lot did, but it did reorientate me with the space. In the grand scheme of things, I probably didn't have to be there for 5:00, as I really didn't do anything productive--didn't really take any photos of this portion of the day, sat around, wondered to find Pokemon for PokemonGO--and the time to help out the band move equipment wasn't till 7:30, so I probably could have done something else during that time, but what's done is done. 

I'm not use to having to much extra time on park, while also being well rested. So i'm also not use to going to the events and shows that were happening during the time, and it felt strange to wonder the space alone, but time passed and we get to The Stampede Showbands performance which I was quite excited to hear and watch. 

Brass Choir

I was pleasantly surprised as to how good they sounded for the point in the week it was. Maybe it's different than being behind the music, but it always felt worse. Maybe this year of members is a little more prepared for it, or it's that it was never as bad as it seemed. It was lots of fun to listen to. I enjoyed myself, and it seems like the rest of the audience did as well.  

As the show progresses, I begin the miss the performance aspect of it all. I loved this section of the year; have all that hard work from the months before and performing everyday, having fun with friends, I missed that. 

After helping put away all the equipment, I left. Keeping it to as short a day I could to hopefully get a decent amount of rest before the full days ahead. 

It mostly worked out. Off to the greatest outdoor show on earth!


Till next time.

Oh, and this is also when I decided to change my branding. It seemed like good timing. More on that later :)