Stampede Day One
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has final started, and oh boy am I tired.
My day started a bit later than it could have, with the festivities of the 10-day start off with a parade in the heart of Calgary. I decide to opt out of attending and catch some extra sleep, because today would be quite a bit longer than yesterday.
My day on park started around 1:30 or so--right as Showband starts performing their afternoon set which had some pretty great moments as usual, but also the occasional mishap here and there. I don't really know what else to say about the band here as it's me attempting to describe sounds with other sounds or visuals, which doesn't exactly seem all that intuitive but that isn't going to stop me. Nothing is perfect in this world, and considering it's only day one, I don't blame anyone for rough patches (except maybe the stupid early call time people have for the parade, that's never fun). It's a fun show, and can't wait to hear what it sounds like as the week progresses.
After their afternoon set, there is quite a bit of time to kill before the their next set. I decide to wander around park a little bit more. There are long lines for almost every ride/event thing that park has to offer, all the stands are packed with people for the various shows going on, and I still feel like there's nothing to do. Why? because the novelty of the stampede has worn off after so many years of spending all 10-days there. However, I say that as someone who appears to have died inside, and that is definitely not everyone. Though I am not one for kids, their joyous expressions, and everyone around me having a good time and taking selfies and what not reminds me that this is a special time of year--kind of like christmas, minus Santa, add cowboys and cowgirls.
After a certain point I decide to go hide in the Western Oasis, which is meant to be the classier area of park. With various pieces of art from local artists, and a place to relax and drink some wine. It's probably one of the quietest places on the grounds, and a great place to just sit and relax. Which is exactly what I did for a good portion of the time I had because my legs were about to buckle under me; the fatigue of walking around for hours the day before trying to find pokemon had finally caught up to me.
Once enough time had passed, I headed towards the Saddledome Steps, to once again watch Showband perform. I stood right at the front, and in the middle for this performance, and also attempted to get some decent photos from this spot. Although it's a great spot to stand from a musical perspective, It's not as great from a visual point of view. I had a good view of the colour guard and got to hear the ensemble in full effect, but didn't get what i believe to be great photos. Which there's no harm there considering I still have 16 more opportunities to see them perform the steps show, and two more for their field show, I'm not too concerned.
Very shortly after the steps show had ended, it was time for the grandstand evening show. I had completely missed the chucks because of the steps show, but I am pretty okay with that. I had missed the first little bit of The Young Canadians performance, but got there about a quarter way through their first number. It was a very good show from what I could tell, though very much #AlbertaStrong kind of message going on throughout their production. With the way the economy has been going, and the stories that have been coming up in the past few months, there really isn't much of a problem with that. I saw people going through a wide range of emotion during their show, and tearing up at various parts of it as well. It was an amazing spectacle and would urge others to go as well.
Besides the mass-exodus of the ground after the show, that concludes day one of this long 10-day adventure. Just 9 more to go!