A Centennial Stampede Celebration!

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Well, the much anticipated 100th Calgary Stampede has now come and gone! By all accounts, it is regarded as the greatest Stampede ever. Attendance records were through the roof and big name musical acts such as Garth Brooks, Carly Rae Jepson, Dragonette, Simple Plan, Mother Mother and Paul Brandt played a large role in attracting the masses.

As a member of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede for many years, the Stampede has always played a special and important role in my life. Growing up every year, I spent countless hours each spring and summer rehearsing and training for the annual Stampede Grandstand show. How poetic it is then, that many years later I am now working for TransAlta Corporation - the proud sponsor of The Young Canadians and the Grandstand show. My life has truly come full circle, as this year I had the honour of participating in TransAlta's Grandstand show activities.

This year, as part of the 100th anniversary Stampede celebration we had a Young Canadians reunion! On Saturday, July 7th, myself and many past members of the Young Canadians attended the Grandstand show and afterwards had our picture taken onstage and then socialized in the warm-up tent. It was really wonderful to see everyone and to catch up with them after all these years!

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What else did I do at this year's Stampede? I went to the rodeo for the first time! It was a lot of fun! I also helped put on our annual TransAlta Stampede employee lunch. This year, we decided to include a fashion competition as part of the lunch event. We called it the Stampede Fashion Showdown! Three of our executives were the judges and they were dubbed the Fashion Sheriffs. I participated in the competition and was complimented by the judging panel for my wholesomeness and cuteness. However, first place went to my friend Sarah Williams, whose outfit included a stuffed horse that she was able to step into and walk around in. Her prize was four tickets to Carrie Underwood this coming fall. Congratulations Sarah!

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And let's not forget Ms. Carly Rae Jepson! Yes, the pop sensation played at the Coca Cola Stage during this year's Stampede. Dragonette played right before her and Garth Brooks also played that same evening at the Saddledome on the Stampede grounds - what a crazy night! It was probably the most attended evening in Stampede history. Carly was great! I really enjoyed hearing her other songs besides Call Me Maybe. I can't believe there were guys in the audience that had signs that read, "call me maybe" with their phone numbers on them! I'm pretty sure she's seen this kind of stuff a million times already. Besides, if I really wanted her to call me, I would hold up a sign that said, "Call Me." No maybe, just a period at the end - with my number.

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In addition, it was really amazing to walk down Stephen Ave and 17th Ave during the Stampede - so much celebrating! Every Stampede, we're reminded what a great city Calgary is. It was so great to see everyone get into the Stampede spirit and dress up in their western costumes every day! Plus, I love plaid and I was really glad to get to wear it every day! We also had such amazing weather this year - what an outstanding Stampede.

Lastly, I would like to extend a great big thank you to my friends Chris and David who hosted a magnificent Stampede champagne brunch at their condo one morning. What a wonderful time we all had - the brunch was delicious and I felt so classy drinking champagne with orange juice! And isn't the Stampede all about classiness?

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