One of Calgary’s symbols is a White Cowboy Hat. This is the home of the Stampede and of course you'll want to be one of the good guys wearing a white hat rather than wearing a black hat. White Cowboy Hats are often presented to visiting dignitaries and celebrities as a welcoming gift to Calgary. In fact anyone can take part in the White Hat ceremony (see Calgary Tourism for details).
Cowboy hats made from felt can be quite hot in the summer which in turns can lead to a dreaded condition known as "hat head". If you want to get into the spirit of Stampede, get an inexpensive straw cowboy hat. The straw "breathes", and if you forget it in a bar, it's no great loss.
Famously known as the World's Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is the Calgary Stampede. It is essentially a rodeo, fair and theatrical perfomances.
It takes place the first two weeks of July. The whole city pretty much shuts down to begin the celebrations with the Stampede Parade. Next are the numerous free Stampede Breakfasts hosted by various businesses ( pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausages) usually with entertainment of western singers/dancers.
Imagine our shocked reaction while standing in the customs line to be told of the London bombings from an American tourist.
Government buildings in Canada lowered their flags - so did our hotel as a mark of respect.
Calgary pulls out all the stops when it comes to fun and friendliness, the atmosphere around the city during Stampede week is electric with tourist and locals alike joining in the carnival atmosphere. Every where you turn there is clever advertising usually on a cowboy theme. When we returned to our hotel one evening the World's most famous Cowboy was showcased and lit up wonderfully on the hotel's wall. During the busiest week in the tourist season people here still stop to give a friendly greeting and ask where your from = showing a genuine interest in you as a person and not just another tourist.
While strolling the Olympic Plaza we came across this lovely group of bronze statues of the famous five or sometimes called the valiant five standing in an inscribed circle. The women were all from Alberta, in 1927 they asked for an answer to a question in the Supreme Court of Canada "Are women persons?" At this time in history only men were allowed to be appointed to Senate. The case was then taken to the High Court in London and eventually they won their case =
Emily Murphy became the British Empires 1st. woman judge
Irene Marryat Darlby became 1st. Cabinet Minister
Nellie Mooney McClung was a leading suffragette
Louise Crumny McKinney became 1st. legislate elected assistant
Hennrietta Muir Edwards founded the Victorian Order of Nurses
More power to your elbow girls I enjoyed my cuppa in your company
During Stampede and Christmas, Calgary businesses get into the spirit of the season by having local artists decorate their windows. The results are eye catching and often humorous. As you notice more and more displays, you begin to recognize the style of different artists, even though each display is unique. The sad part is that in a few weeks the windows will be washed and the pictures so lovingly created will be gone forever. Next year, a new batch of eye-candy will be adorn the windows.
For the whole month before the Stampede, you can get unlimited ride passes for the amusement park portion of the Stampede for much cheaper than it costs to buy per ride / day pass on the grounds. Checkout any local Safeway grocery stores for details.
Especially good deal for kids who never quit!
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