Once a year, over a million people gather for the Calgary Stampede, a 10-day celebration of Western culture that includes midway rides, rodeos, music, games, and some truly insane food. (Doughnut holes topped with bull testicles, anyone?)
The 2018 Stampede kicked off with a parade on Friday, attracting so many revellers that a record for single-day attendance was smashed.
Political leaders from all levels of government showed up to the Stampede to get in on the fun — and take advantage of the opportunity to gladhand with voters, a bonus, of course.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has kept busy making pancakes, meeting Humbolt Broncos first responders, and dancing in the parade, to name a few activities on her itinerary.
Officially, @calgarystampede doesn't start until today but we still had a busy and awesome day yesterday.— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) July 6, 2018
Check out these highlights and then, I'll see you at the parade! https://t.co/iFVDGVDpoH#calgarystampede2018#yyc#ableg#abpolipic.twitter.com/HFcs5vybRJ
Before the @calgarystampede parade yesterday, I had the honour of meeting some of first responders who were on the scene of the devastating @HumboldtBroncos bus crash.— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) July 7, 2018
Again, thank you for your heroic service. #humboldtstrong#ableg#abpoli#stampede2018#yycpic.twitter.com/ousWrseCf8
Having an awesome time at the @CalgaryStampede with this year's #StampedeParade marshal @MarkMcMorris, a two time Olympic medalist for Canada🇨🇦.— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) July 6, 2018
Happy Stampede all!#ableg#abpoli#Stampede2018pic.twitter.com/u6KFSOCuTm
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi seemed to be having a great time multi-tasking himself.
Annual. I'm on a horse. Tweeting. pic.twitter.com/jioh70EGkA— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) July 6, 2018
Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney boasted about his pancakes.
And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended a breakfast hosted by MP Kent Hehr on Saturday and seemed to be relishing the Stampede spirit.
Yesterday, Trudeau also met with Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, meanwhile, enjoyed watching the derby.
No better way to cap off a busy day of Stampeding than at the @CSchuckwagons! Thanks @JohnBarlowMP for joining me and thank you Calgary for such a warm welcome. @calgarystampede#CalgaryStampede#YYC#Stampede2018pic.twitter.com/wXIo2y0aU0— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) July 7, 2018
And former prime minister Stephen Harper took the opportunity to hang out with former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall.
We'd organize a vote on who's rocking the cowboy hat best, but we're too distracted by this one-pound meatball. Enjoy the Stampede, Calgarians!
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