Friday, July 6, 2007

Calgary Stampede Parade Day!!!

Today was the Calgary Stampede Parade which marks the start of Stampede week here in Calgary. What a great experience!!! We were up at 5am as we wanted to get an early start in as we had decided to bus it into town. We were out of the house by 6:30am and in town just before 7:30am. The bus trip was a first for Jared and I and it was really pleasant. I was impressed with how easy it was to get into town on public transport. I can vaguely remember catching a bus into JHB in the 80’s lol!!!

Once we arrived in town we were really happy that we left the car at home. People were already lining the streets waiting for the parade to start. I have no idea what time they arrived, but they were there in force with their flasks and deck chairs on the pavements. The city had put up grand stands all over as well which people made use of too.

The first thing we did when we arrived was stop off for breakfast. After that we decided to make our way to the start of the parade on 6th Avenue. Jared was all over the place. He had Hannes walking up and down the street chatting to anyone who would listen. He had an absolute ball. (here is the link to a video clip for those interested The parade started just before 9am with 9 red and white fighter jets overhead. That was amazing to see and of course with all the buildings around the sound of their engines was really audible. And then the floats came and came and came and came!!!! The people were all very festive shouting Ya Hoo at the crowd and the crowd in return. :o)

We enjoyed the start of the festivities and then decided to move to Hannes’s office which is on 9th Avenue which is where the parade would end. We went in and said “Hi” to the very few people who were working today (they really weren’t joking when they said not much work gets done during Stampede Week!!) and then we went out and joined the crowds on the street waiting for the parade. It was a real eye opener to see that people had come out early and put their deck chairs on the street and then gone off to do other things only to return hours later and still find their deck chairs exactly where they had left them earlier!!! We had a good giggle about that. It was also really refreshing to be able to put the back pack on the floor and not have to put my foot through the straps so that I would feel if someone was grabbing it lol!!! It is amazing how relaxed we already are here in terms of our safety etc.

After the parade was done we wandered around the streets for a while enjoying the vibe and all the people and the entertainment. Jared was fast asleep in his pram so we decided that the perfect end to a perfect day would be lunch!!! So we went off and had sushi and beer :o) and then made our way home and all had a well deserved sleep!!!

We have decided that those of you who plan to come and visit us have to come during winter and then again during Stampede. Both would be awesome and very different holidays. The summer here is wonderful, better than I ever could have imagined!!!

Here are some pics of the parade. It was tough to choose a few, so I did the best I could ;o) Enjoy!!!


Natasha said...

wow, that looks amazing!

Michelle & Claudia said...

Wow... thats is so nice!! it's something you always see on TV... you are so lucky

Brig said...

Aah, that looked like so much fun and great atmosphere too. The photos tell it all !!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like so much fun Carol!!!


suew said...

Looks like fun!!!