Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cowboys and Firefighters and Mini-donuts... Oh, my!

Every year in July, my beloved city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada demonstrates why it’s nicknamed “Cowtown.” (My buddies in Houston like to call Calgary “Little Houston,” but I don’t think we’re at that level.)

The Calgary Stampede bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” and is ten days of the world’s largest outdoor rodeo competition, midway rides, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuck wagon races, First Nations exhibitions, and FREE pancake breakfasts around the city. Last year, 1.2 million people attended the Calgary Stampede, which is pretty impressive since Calgary’s population is just shy of 1 million.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Calgary Stampede. On the one hand, work grinds to a halt because everyone’s out Stampeding…on company time, no less. On the other hand, out come the Western shirts, Wranglers, cowboy boots, 10-gallon hats, and belt buckles that can deflect bullets. Really, I kid you not. And not to mention the fringe. Fringe, fringe, fringe…everywhere fringe! Ugh!

So, the thirteen reasons for my love/hate relationship:
  1. Cowboys. Long, lean, and they work with their hands. *sigh*

  2. Hy’s Steakhouse hosts a barbeque lunch with AAA beef tenderloin as the feature to benefit the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Centre. Naturally, a fire truck loaded with firefighters, some of whom pose for the Hotstuff calendar, drops by the event. Yeah, I occasionally drool.

  3. Jeans at work. Actually, it’s supposed to be Western wear, but I loosely translate that into blue jeans all week. Oh, the money I save on dry cleaning.

  4. Mini-donuts. They’re small, they’re deep-fried right in front of your eyes, they’re sugar-powdered, and there’s a reason why 2 million mini-donuts are consumed every Stampede.

  5. Deep-fried sweet potato fries. Better than regular fries. I guarantee it.

  6. Fazackerley’s Fudge & Candy Inc. The first time I saw this, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

  7. Free food! For the entire ten days, there are free pancake (and bacon and eggs and sausage) breakfasts throughout the city. No brown bagging for this gal during Stampede.

  8. Vendor lunches. Open bar, ribs, wings, corn on the cob, steak. I have at least two of these every Stampede.

  9. With all this food, I say to hell with the exercise regime because it’s only for ten days out of the year. Thus, by the end of Stampede, I have to wear dresses because the jeans can no longer button up.

  10. The bands: Finger Eleven, Three Days Grace, Jann Arden, Keisha Chanté, Hinder, Good Charlotte, Live, Sloan, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Blue October. And it’s all FREE with admission to the fair grounds.

  11. I get an extra day off in July because of the Stampede Parade. (Not that I go and watch it, but I do enjoy that extra day to sleep in.) And most bosses will look the other way if your lunch stretches into two, three, sometimes four hours…if you come back at all.

  12. Fireworks. Every night. Who doesn’t love fireworks?

  13. The MBAs come out in droves during Stampede because the unofficial motto is “Drink triple, see double, think single.”

Another Trivia Contest!

The trivia question for this post: According to my usage, what does MBA stand for?

I'll pull a name from all the correct entries and send a prize package consisting of a print copy of my current release, bookmarks, and an Ellora's Cave RT cowboy card deck. Once again, you can post the answer in the Comments section or email me directly. Good luck!

The winner will be announced at my next regularly scheduled blog day, Thursday, August 9, 2007.

Ann Bruce

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Mechele Armstrong said...

This sounds awesome!

Lisa said...

Ok, I need to move to Calgary.

Happy Thursday, my list is up too!

Anonymous said...

Mechele - I especially enjoy #2. A condo apartment building is going up kitty corner to where I currently live and a fire station is going right beside it. I am so tempted to buy a unit. Firefighters 24/7... Oh, how my running shorts would keep getting smaller and smaller.

Crimson Wife said...

I'm assuming MBA = Married But Available aka sleazebags...

Pam said...

I remember eating well and ogling all the cowboys the one rodeo I got to in Wyoming.

MBA - Master Bar Alcoholics, or perhaps Master Bull Artists? LOL

Danielle said...

I did not know there was a cowboy culture in Canada.

Love learning new things.

Be well and enjoy the day.
Happy TT.

Be well and enjoy the day.
For more of my Modern Musings
Progressive Change

N.J.Walters said...

You had me at FREE pancakes. LOL

Anonymous said...

Danielle - Cattle ranching is a multi-billion dollar industry in Canada, especially Western Canada.

My significant other was actually born on a ranch. He lived the lifestyle until his daddy decided there was more money to be made in the oil industry.

Anonymous said...

NJ - I'm cool with FREE food.

Doesn't need to be pancakes. Although, this morning I had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and OJ to go with the pancakes topped with pureed strawberries and blueberries.

I start the detox on Monday.