The Booking Bronco
Calgary Public Library
It is Stampede Season again. And, once again, Calgary Public Library is a proud participant in the Calgary Stampede Parade. Our “Booking Bronco” (see above) is ready for action and our staff will be walking the route, some of them dressed up as characters from books. This gives us a different kind of opportunity to meet our friends and customers and it is one we look forward to every year. Watch for us this Friday and if you’re on the parade route, give us a YAHOO!!!
Both Calgary Public Library and the Stampede are approaching important anniversaries. In 2012 we will celebrate the first 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede and of Calgary Public Library. Calgary in 1912 must have been quite a town. The pride and optimism that fueled calls for a public library for this fine city also found expression in the Calgary Stampede. This is a dichotomy that continues to define Calgary to this day. We know how to celebrate our origins in the rural and ranching communities and the rugged entrepreneurs that started the city and we also value our more refined cultural institutions like libraries. (Not that we’re that refined – watch for us in the parade and you’ll see what I mean. Library employees can Yahoo with the best of them). Our library has one of the highest per capita usage levels in North American and our Stampede is the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. We certainly don’t do things halfway.
Parade day marks the dividing line between business as usual and a pancake munching, bbq lunching debauch. It was ever thus, as the pictures below illustrate. The first postcard is from the 1908 Dominion Exhibition, which gave Guy Weadick and the Big Four the idea for an annual version of this grand annual party. It shows a log cabin, being hauled through the streets of Calgary. The second photo is of the Pendleton Band and it is from the first Stampede parade in 1912. These two pictures are from our really great collection of Stampede postcards. You can find them all in the CHFH digital library by clicking on Browse and then typing in “stampede parade”.
Dominion Exhibition Parade, 1908
Postcards from the Past, PC 630
Pendleton Band, Stampede Parade, 1912
Postcards from the Past, PC 284
We also have a great collection of books relating to the Stampede. One of my favourites, that really goes a long way toward explaining this seeming anomalous annual event, is Icon, Brand, Myth by Max Foran. You can find this and other titles in our catalogue by searching for the subject “Calgary Stampede History”.
So YAHOO to you and Happy Stampedeing.