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NIELSEN thumbnail-1

100 years of stories

The Calgary Stampede is a place where stories are born. Every year over a million people make their way through Stampede Park gates with their friends and family and go home with new memories, and sometimes new friends, as well as tales of fun and adventure. We all have a Stampede story. And now, there is a place to share it.


Since launching the My Stampede website in November, the Centennial team has received hundreds of stories from around the world. Send us your Stampede story and become part of the legend! Chosen stories will be featured on the site and a few lucky submissions will win the experience of a lifetime at the Centennial Stampede, July 6 to 15, 2012.


Charlotte Murray shared a story that has been passed through generations about western hospitality at the first Stampede:


A family friend, Andrew Nielsen aged 92, lives near Eckville, Alberta, but often comes to Calgary for medical treatment. As we drive by the Stampede to his appointment, he tells the story of how “Calgary Hospitality” started at the first Stampede.


In 1912, his Grandparents, John and Marie Nielsen, and their 5 children came to the first Stampede.  They drove their team and wagon twenty five miles from their farm in the Kneehill district to Innisfail, where they boarded the train for Calgary. They arrived at the CPR station and walked across the sandy soil toward the Stampede grounds. It had been a long trip, and they were hot, tired and thirsty when they came upon a lemonade stand near the grandstand with a sign “Lemonade 5 cents a glass”. When the man running the stand saw them, and realized that they could not afford 7 glasses, he quickly said “ 5 cents for the whole family”… And a legend was born. The story has been passed down through the generations for 100 years. The legend of Calgary hospitality was born….


We’re looking for written stories, photos, videos, poetry, artwork and more. If it means something to you and it’s tied to the Stampede, we’d love to hear about it.


Share your Stampede story!


Photo caption: The Nielsen family in 1913, a year after their Stampede experience.