The last night at the 2015 Calgary Stampede

July 12th was the final day of the 2015 Calgary Stampede and I had an invitation from good friends to join them for the Chuckwagon Finals and the Grandstand Show Finale that evening.  I jumped at the chance and enjoyed a great night down on the grounds.

2015 Stampede Chuckwagon Finals - © Christopher Martin-0351-2

The Chucks were exciting as usual with the best races coming in the last couple of heats.  This year’s champion was Kurt Bensmiller who successfully defended his title from last year in a great race, particularly down the stretch.  Bensmiller was riding on the Tsuu T’ina wagon, whose land we live on, so I was happy for them as well!  Above is my shot of him closing in on the finish line.

2015 Stampede Chuckwagon Finals - © Christopher Martin-520311

Another great race was heat 5 where Mark Sutherland pulled away from a tight grouping with all four teams and won by just under a second.

Swinging above the Stampede midway - © Christopher Martin-0152

Earlier in the evening, we walked down the midway, checking out the rides, the people and the crazy games.  I like riding these big swings with my kids and with the sun behind it made for a cool picture.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0398

After the races, the Grandstand Show was up and this year’s edition was called the Canadian Classic.  I thought it was great fun.  I was sitting above a group visiting from Ohio and, judging by their enthusiasm during and after the performance, it was well received by friends from afar as well.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0436

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0526

The fireworks are a signature piece that ends each show.  The set on the last day were far and away the largest of the Stampede I was told by a friend who had seen several of them this year.  They were huge, loud and beautiful.  From our seats on the second deck, we weren’t too far below the average explosion height so they felt all-encompassing which is great when it comes to fireworks in my mind.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show fireworks - © Christopher Martin-0492

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