I caved to peer pressure this year, buying new jeans and sandals for Stampede. These were clothes that I desperately needed to buy anyway, but finding them about an hour before having to head out to a fancy Stampede do lent a heady sensation of urgency to the tedium of shopping. I felt like such a desperado.
The National Music Centre Stampede BBQ - held way the hell out of town at The Crossing at Ghost River - was jaw-droppingly spectacular and well worth the trip. It was even worth almost running out of gas on the way home. A gob-smackingly beautiful setting, combined with impeccable hospitality and high-end musical guests made for a first-class party. And I am not just saying that because it was the National Music Centre. This was truly a lesson in how to put on an event.
A lot of the ladies in attendance were pretty giddy to be serenaded by both Jim Cuddy and Paul Brandt during dinner and we were all in awe of the ageless energy of Buffy Sainte-Marie who turned the big white tent into a rocking pow wow during dessert. I swear that woman has a painting of herself getting older in an attic somewhere.
A little closer to home, I got my annual pancake feed at the NMC offic - chocolate chip pancakes, y'all - and managed to feel all responsible by saying no to a late-morning Caesar, opting for orange juice instead. Maybe I am not as cowboy as I thought.
But even my shameless self-promotion is Stampede themed today. My latest Calgary Sun/NMC article features my chat with The Travelling Mabels - a beautifully-harmonizing three-generational female band - about Alberta, country music and Stampede.