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There’s a first time for everything and after being a living breathing Albertan for 30 years, I finally made my way down south to experience one of the largest rodeos in the world, the Calgary Stampede. I packed my best looking cowpoke duds and set off down the long dusty road to my rodeo destiny. The following is a photodiary of my wonderful weekend stampedin’.

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I was so impressed by all the riders expertise, I even enjoyed the rodeo clown despite being slightly terrifying. It must take hours of practice to get out there and not ragdoll the entire time! Talent aside, there were some mighty fine fashions parading around; all the cowboy hats and shorts that could be mistaken for denim underwear made for interesting people watching.

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Next on the docket post rodeo was eating our way through the midway. Mushroom gravy poutine, a troll pop, and of course the infamous not to be missed mini doughnuts were all consumed. We took a break momentarily to take a cruise on the Skyride, my new favourite ride of all time. Imagine a chairlift from a ski hill except its summertime and you get to watch the sun slip behind the Calgary skyline while enjoying a mini doughnut. Sigh.

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OUTFIT | hat – c/o SMITHBILT | sunglasses – RAYBAN | lipstick – c/o SMASHBOX | dress – c/o JOE FRESH – currently on sale for $9! | bandana – VINTAGE – similar here | belt – VINTAGE | boots – VINTAGE – similar here |

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I even tried my hand at a few games and won big in a spray gun challenge. This giraffe was the biggest winning I’ve ever had at a fair. I promptly donated it in one of the charity bins leaving the park because the thrill of winning big was enough for me!

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The whole weekend was balmy and 30+ with blue skies for miles. It was essentially the perfect first time experience of the Stampede. Now I finally know what everyone has been raving about all these years.

P.S. All of these dreamy shots were taken on my new Samsung Galaxy S8
photographs – Jesse Sand / Sandy Karpetz

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