***Cowboys, cowgirls, cow-roping, bull-riding, sheep-shearing, chuck-wagon races, bucking broncos – this is the stuff of the true West, and Stampede organizers are determined the show will go on despite the flooding in Calgary. The latest example of the perseverance of Calgarians comes in the form of a T-Shirt with the imprint: Stampede 101 - Hell or High Water. And, yes, you can buy the T-shirt here. Proceeds go the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund, which is helping out victims of the flood.
***We asked Canadian Living readers what they loved best about the Calgary Stampede. Here's what they told us. The Top 5 Reasons Canadians Love the Calgary Stampede 1. The Grub Deep-fried Doritios, double bacon corndogs and deep-fried bubble gum. This year the Stampede boasts a list of 31 new wacky but drool-worthy edible treats 2. Live Music. This year's roster of concert performers reads like a Grammy Nominees List: Tim McGraw, Kiss, Dixie Chicks, Serena Ryder. 3. The annual North American Sheep Shearing Challenge Where else can you watch the best barbers in the world compete to shear as many sheep as they can in just six minutes. [caption id="attachment_15944" align="aligncenter" width="315"] Rodeo competitions for men and women (Courtesy: Shane Kuhn)[/caption]
***4. Stampede Queen and Princesses While beauty contests are a thing of the past, the Calgary Stampede takes a different approach when they honour the young women who do their best to promote and preserve Western heritage. There are no bikini contests or silly karaoke competitions. These young women are judged on horse-riding ability, professionalism, personality and public speaking. 5. Stampede Parade: This year's honoured marshall - Space Cowboy Chris Hadfield. Every year the Stampede kicks off with a parade lead by a special marshal. This year Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will trade his space suit for a cowboy hat. Our homegrown hero accepted his invitation while working as commander on the International Space Station. What are your best Calgary Stampede moments?