Yes Ladies and Gents the world famous Calgary Stampede begins today with a parade down the main streets of Calgary. In fact right outside my office. I can hear the bands right now.
Overnight the population of Calgary (just over a 1 million) turn into cowboys and cowgirls. I swear 99.9% of the people I've seen today are dressed in denim. It's a 10 day party of 3 hour lunches, free booze if you get the lucrative invite to a corporate party. Free pancake breakfast every day and this is not including the actual Stampede grounds themselves.
The thing about parade day is suburbia comes downtown and it gets a little ugly. People stake out there spot on sidewalks hours before the parade starts. People are still using these sidewalks. Heaven forbid you want to cross the street because lawn chairs are everywhere. Though you just want to get past these people, they look at you like you're trying to steal there spot.
Hundreds will come into our building seeking public washrooms, it's a private building there are no public washrooms.
Every one of your traditional coffee places will have line ups of suburbans with their strollers and folded up lawn chairs and 6 children. We the employees of downtown are not used to suburbans, we see you in the mall on the weekend or around the neighbourhood but not on the street.
The parade will wrap around noon, when the last of the street cleaners pick up the horse doo doo.
Here are some approximate statistics on the parade courtesy of Calgary Stampede Parade
Number of entries: 170
Number of horses: 750
Number of floats: 40
Number of marching bands: 40
Audience on lining parade route: 350 000
Duration of main parade past a single point: 2 hours
Let the games begin.