I love the Stampede. I have gone every year and also worked there for several years. In truth I don’t really do much there just walk around, go to free shows, look at the animals and try out some food but here’s a review anyways.
The Stampede Midway Games:
I may have gotten old but there didn’t seem to be much cool new stuff to win at this one. The annoying orange, some Pokemon and bikes were all the same as last year.
The Roundup Centre/ BMO Centre:
Infomercial booths also seemed to be lacklustre. Where are all the new infomercials? Isn’t there a channel just for these things?
The Big Hit:
The most popular thing at the Stampede was the Hell or High Water shirt. Mass/Flash consumerism at its finest. BTW I’m not being sarcastic about consumerism at its finest because the proceeds from those shirts are donated to disaster relief.
I went to the Indian Village and actually stuck around for awhile there for the first time. All the other times I had pretty much walked around the tipis super fast. This time I watched the performances that they were doing on the stage though. It was great seeing the dances and seeing the cool costumes.
The agriculture buildings are pretty much the same each year. Who doesn’t like to hold baby animals and get in touch with their inner farmer though? Well actually vegetarians and hardcore animal rights activists probably don’t. In all seriousness I think it is important to teach kids and adults about farms, animals and where their food comes from.
I missed the Range. The food trucks were a good addition though. I tried the deep fried butter. It essentially just tasted like deep fried dough with butter inside. I could feel years being taken off my life as I ate it.
I saw a contortionist comedian. It was ok and I liked the fact she was pretty ripped. This is not something that you see in many contortionists or female performers in general. Her show really only consisted of like two poses and squeezing herself into a box while telling a few jokes though.
The place for one hit wonders from a few years ago to perform actually had a good lineup this year. I saw Michael Bernard Fitzgerald on the Coke stage who was amazing. I love the fact that they had a Calgarian on the Coke stage. Walk off the Earth, K-os and Sam Roberts Band also were on the Coke Stage this year.
The last couple years the Stampede has had great shows in the corral with the skating show and then the Tails show telling the story of Stampede history last year. This year they had Family Feud which may have been worse than the Superdogs, a feat pretty hard to achieve. While I didn’t go see Family Feud, some of my friends tried to. By tried to I didn’t mean they couldn’t get in because it was full, rather they sat through part of it and had to leave because it was so boring.
Bell Aqua Ranch
The fountain show consisted of a few fountains sporadically spraying while pop songs were played. A couple kids with some water guns could have done a better job. The H2X extreme show was ok. If you want to see some decently hot guys fully clothed in wetsuits driving cool water gizmos in a really small pool then this show is for you. I I really don’t know that much about water sports but it felt like they were doing the same trick over and over again. The thing where he gets lifted into the air on a surfboard connected by tubes is pretty cool although gimmicky. Everything would have looked much cooler with an actual lake and I would have much rather tried the things then watched people do the same trick over and over again. It was a great place to watch the fireworks though.
Overall while this year’s Stampede was good, it definitely fell short of previous years.