EV With Boots On

At the 99th Stampede, East Village neighbours put on the city's favourite party. Here's the report.

EV was in Stampede from the first moments. The parade staging grounds were right outside the windows of The Simmons Building, so the CMLC team of master developers had the ultimate back stage pass for the opening event. Which meant that we got a sneak peek of the float that took two major awards – Best Overall Entry and Best Entry by a Business or Non-Profit. The winner was none other than EV’s own National Music Centre, the soon-to-be-cultural and entertainment hub that’s coming to the area around the King Eddy. Check out the award-winning float here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/CantosMusicFdn?blend=1&ob=5#p/a/u/1/va7wP7E8gak

Organizers reported that this year was “best ever," with 1,174,697 attendees, 30,000 more than last year, when the weather was atrocious and there were no royals to ogle. While the Duke and Duchess didn’t get a chance to stroll RiverWalk, many other Calgarians did on their way to concerts at Fort Calgary that were highlights of Stampede.

The fort, our closest neighbour on the east side of EV, welcomed more than 10,000 revelers during Stampede Roundup on the 13th. Fans willed the sun to shine after a morning of rain, and cheered headliner John Fogerty along with The Odds, Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson. (Famous Fan sighting: former wolf-dancer Kevin Costner.) At the fort’s Oxford Stomp on July 15, 10,000 more fans came out for INXS and 54:40. Proceeds from the Stomp go to the Rotary Club of Calgary and are invested back into the local community.

The Stampede will be 100 years next year. Attendees will access the grounds from the 4th St. Underpass, which connects EV to the Stampede under 9th Avenue. Seems fitting that a century after we were the first parade staging grounds, East Village will once again be at the heart of the greatest outdoor show on earth.