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Calgary Stampede was long ago named “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth” and after this past June/July I totally agree.  Not because of a over the-top,  glittering, or huge numbers of people event but the fact that there even was A STAMPEDE!

Anyone who watched the news during June and July 2013 was well aware of the devastation Calgary endured due to flooding.  I was one who stayed glued to my computer (in Mexico) watching daily events unfold and feeling helpless to do anything.  I arrived in Calgary in late June and I will never forget the view from the airplane.  The farmland below looked like hundreds of little lakes and then the overflowing rivers were surreal.  i have never seen devastation,  the power of water,  the dirty filthy sludge that annihilated  everything in its path. Rich, poor, old, young the wrath of the water chose all.  Many areas of the city and far worse outside of Calgary were totally ruined or vanished.  The ever famous Stampede grounds were underwater including inside the Saddledome (up to the 10th row I believe), and only one week before Stampede was to begin.

Twice in a matter of a few days,  I was totally overwhelmed with pride for Calgary!!!!  The city stood and pulled together to clean, assist, feed, rip apart, donate, drive, care for anything it could possibly do to help others.  Two young men I know (Ben & Richard) gladly gave of their time to wade through waist-high water and clean out people’s homes.

COME HELL OR HIGHWATER!!!!!  The show will go on, was the slogan adopted by Calgary Mayor and Calgarians certainly did.  The Stampede opened until cloudy skies but NOTHING could damper the “Spirit of Calgarians”.  Yes, the numbers were down, weather not the best and some of the buildings closed but WOW, truly astonishing.

Here are a few of my pics.  Thank you Calgary and for your amazing strength & spirit!

DSC_7358 DSC_7341 DSC_7367Flooding along the Bow River

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Getting geared up for the Parade and the GREATEST OUTDOOR SHOW ON EARTH

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Watching the parade I was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm.  There was a young man  from China standing beside me,  he was so happy to be part of the Stampede.

DSC_7815 DSC_7838 DSC_8541Below are 2 photo’s of my friend Karla who is from Mexico and enjoying her first Stampede,  look at that smile!!

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COME HELL (IT DID) OR HIGHWATER (MORE THAN IMAGINEABLE) THE SHOW WENT ON!