For the past couple of years my Dad has been asked to chauffeur in the Calgary Stampede Parade. I'm not sure how he was first asked, but obviously he knew someone who knew someone.
So, for the second time now, he's been up at the crack of dawn, drives his fancy ol' car down to the staging area, and gets paired up with someone who apparently is important enough to get driven around downtown Calgary for a morning. Last year it was a pair of figure skaters, this year it was a local alderman.
So, this year, my Mum asked if I would go down with her to watch my Dad drive past. Now, normally for me this day means a sleep in, since our office always takes the day off. But, with the possibility of seeing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well, I thought, 'Why not?'
So, we found our space at 7am (which means we left my house at 6:15am). Unfortunately not front row, but that group was there at 3:30am. 3:30 AM!! About half a million people came down to the parade this year, more than the usual third of a million.
And we saw them, twice. Once as they left the hotel to start their route, again on their actual route past before the parade began. They drove quite quickly past (running late, according to the police officer near us). But I was able to snap a couple of photos.
(Aside: I'm not a huge fan of the Stampede, and think that Calgary could focus a bit less on its cowboy image, but I did think it was pretty cool that they donned those white hats for so much of their visit.)
See? That's Catherine waving from the driver's side back seat, William is beside her.
Now, some people were griping about how fast the motorcade went, and the fact that they were in an enclosed car. I figure, if people wanted up close and personal, they could have stood in line overnight with all those other people to get the event wristband earlier in the week.
And look! A tank! I never thought I'd see a tank on Calgary streets. Now, I haven't been to the parade in over 15 years, so I don't know if this is common.
And there's my Dad. Isn't that car beautiful?
We left pretty quickly after that, our excitement for the morning was pretty much past. And my stomach was growling...