So…What is 4-H?

Every year around this time we hear about 4-H on Parade (okay I hear about it and figure there are others who have as well). I may have grown up in a very small, rural Alberta town, but being a “Town-Kid” I didn’t participate in raising a steer (eye brows might have been raised if I tried to keep one in my backyard next to the swing set).  I got to hear about what the fun and excitement of 4-H on Parade, but never really knew what it was all about.

It’s no longer my friends attending 4-H on parade but their children or nieces/nephews. So I have pictures pop up on my social media of their loved ones with their steer, horse or other project that they have been working on diligently for the past year. And I have decided to look at what 4-H stands for and what 4-H on Parade is all about.

For over 100 years the organization has been an integral part of the community in Canada). Here are some tidbits about 4-H:

  1. 4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health
  2. Although most of us (again I mean me) thought of 4-H as strictly agriculture based. Meaning I must live on a farm and raise a steer to auction off. This is not the case – they have projects spanning a large range of interests including photography, repairing computers, building remote control airplanes, training pets, etc. (Now if only I had realized this in my youth……)
  3. They offer leadership training and opportunities to the community plus scholarships for various post-secondary or other educational opportunities.
  4. Youth conferences throughout Canada and the USA that enable youth to create lasting friendships while learning about politics, citizenship and social issues.
  5. Lastly (but definitely not least) – 4-H of Parade. Youth are able to showcase their projects (steer, engines, computers, etc) for judging and receive accolades for their hard work and dedication. My understanding that there is a pretty popular lip-sync completion and a Tug-of-War competition to go with it.

If you want to see what 4-H on Parade is all about check out the online schedule of events for this weekend or if you want more information on 4-H Clubs in your area check out their website.

My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
And my health to better living,
For my club, my community, my country and my world

Come Dine With Us Calgary! Stampede Food Sensitivity Options

With all the new food we have on Park this year, it’s easy to forget about the great food options we have returning each year. Our food vendors not only strive to make some of the more outlandish foods available, they also understand that many of our guests have unique dietary needs. Whether you are looking for gluten sensitive, lactose free or something a little lighter, we’ve got your back.

Maybe you’re watching what you eat, or simply looking for a healthy break between deep fried delicacies, either way, you’ve got choices.  You can head over to Wrap Daddy’s to pick up one of their cone shaped wraps, try out a noodle box from SaltSpring Noodle Bar or stop by Los Compadres for their Esquites, a returning favourite!

EPSON DSC picture

For those looking to avoid gluten or dairy on the Midway you have many options, including the baked beans from Bush’s Baked Beans, fries from Fresh Cut Fries, beef bacon and eggs from Canadian Beef Bacon or maybe a large dose of protein with a giant turkey drumstick from Swenson Faz’ Smoked Turkey Drumstick booth.


Some locations on Park, like The Naaco Truck and Avatara Pizza, are able to cater to almost all dietary needs with gluten sensitive, lactose free and vegetarian options in their menu. Make your meal gluten sensitive at Avatara with the gluten sensitive crust or change out the naan bread at The Naaco Truck.


We want everyone to be able to enjoy the many things the Stampede offers, including the cuisine we have on the Midway. Stop by the Stampede this summer to try some of the options we have for you, and let us start the second century together!

Written by:
Lindsey Kendrick
Jillian Cook

Let the Summer Fun Begin

Where has the time gone? I cannot believe it is already the end of May and Stampede is starting to creep up on us. It feels like just last week my Stampede sisters and I were getting crowned. Enough about that, time to tell you what Danielle, Catherine, Amber and I have been up to!

Our schedules keep getting busier and busier with Stampede getting closer. Promoting the Calgary Stampede is a must everywhere we go.  Whether it’s supporting our local 4-H clubs by judging lip sync competitions, giving a public speaking clinic to the Calgary Stampede Showriders, or going to Elementary School Carnivals, Stampede is always our number one topic.

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One of the events we attended recently was the Calgary Street Food Festival. It was held at the Kingsland Farmers Market where they had 12 different food trucks all serving their best dishes. We were invited to be guest celebrity judges along with two others. We all sat at a table and had the job of taste testing samples from each truck, talk about a hard life. They brought us chicken burgers, ice cream, perogies, pizza, sushi, and grilled cheese just to name a few. My favorite was the Saskatoon berry dumplings!!!! Mayor Nenshi also joined us at the event and we let him have a taste of a few treats also. It may have been a very tasteful event, but we sure were not in the mood to do much moving around after.

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The next event we attended we finally were able to show off all the hard work we have been putting into our Princes Hawk, Snoopy, and Kansas. The Little Britches Parade and Rodeo in High River was the official start of our rodeo season. We have been riding the Stampede Royalty horses for a few months now and were so excited to take them on the road. The Stampede Princesses and I may have had a few butterflies, but our trusty ponies were old pros and didn’t miss a beat. We all smiled and waved proudly during the parade promoting the Calgary Stampede and our western heritage. We may have smiled a bit bigger when running into the arena for Grand Entry!

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Each week brings new excitement as July gets closer. We may be excited for Stampede but taking one day at a time and enjoying every part of it is a must!


The Elbow River gets a spring clean

How many hands does it take to pick up 3,000 pounds of trash in one hour?


Four hundred twelve by our count. On Tuesday, May 21, 206 Calgary Stampede employees came together to pick up trash along the banks of the Elbow River.


We divided into 12 groups, each deftly led by a team captain who laid out our sections and the game plan.


Armed with rubber gloves and trash bags, we hit the river banks.


Picking up trash on a sunny day with your co-workers is pretty great. Here at Stampede, we love our river so we were happy to give it some TLC.


Especially when it’s followed by hot dogs and ice cream.


Happy spring from the Stampede Family!


Stampede School Wraps up for the year

Next week is Stampede School’s last class of the year. In 2012, 930 students, 42 teachers and 152 volunteer parents came through Stampede School.

What, you ask, is Stampede School all about?

Stampede School students waiting to meet a some new equine friends

Stampede School students waiting to meet a some new equine friends

The Calgary Stampede works directly with teachers to tailor make the five day program to enhance curriculum. No two weeks at Stampede School are identical.

Students might visit the Grain Academy to discover how some of our food is produced, the barns during the Bull Sale, Diary Classic, 4H-On-Parade, or  Union Cemetary to learn about some of the Stampede’s legends.

Many Stampede School students get an up close and personal lesson led by Muffy Knox with Cream Puff and Doobie.

lil' Cream Puff

lil’ Cream Puff

Muffy and Doobie

Muffy and Doobie

Muffy is a horse trainer and expert. Cream Puff is an 8-year-old full-grown miniature horse. Doobie is a four-year-old Paint horse. Doobie’s a little bit more social than little Cream Puff; he likes to have his bum scratched, Muffy told us.

Muffy teaches students how to read a horses signals—a high head, raised ears and flaring nostrils mean a horse is anxious; a bent knee means they’re relaxed—and how to approach a horse. You always want them to be able to see you approaching them, make a  lot of noise if you’re coming from behind so they know you are there.

The kids learn how to brush, feed and pet the horse.

Petting Doobie

Petting Doobie

Stampede School will gear up again in the fall. Until then: have a great summer!


Come Visit us at Lilac Fest on Sunday!

Lilac Festival is coming up on Sunday, May 26th, along with another chance to win some great prizes from the Calgary Stampede’s Next Generation Committee.

This fantastic, FREE one day celebration of culture and community has been entertaining Calgarians for 24 years, with lots to see and do for all ages!


Make sure you stop by our booth, which will be located near the Roots store on 4th Street just passed 17th Avenue, where you can get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your Calgary Stampede experience this July 5-14!

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Travel Channel seeks Calgary Stampede superfans for new show

What’s that you say? You’re a die-hard fan of the Calgary Stampede?


Travel Channel will be filming a new show about fandom and food from Friday, July  5 to Sunday, July 7, 2013 during this year’s 10-day Stampede.

So: if you throw the best Stampede parties, if your BBQ ribs/pancakes/ [insert your culinary specialty here] are legendary, if your cowboy get-up is the envy of everyone on Stampede Park…



…or if you consider yourself the ultimate Stampede superfan, the Travel Channel wants to hear from you! Please email with the subject line “Calgary Stampede” and include photos of you and your friends and/or family showing off your Stampede pride.

Best of luck everyone- and Yahoo!



Let the Countdown Begin!

It’s May…already?! Wow does time fly!! Throughout our busy schedules in and around the city, everyone- including my Stampede sisters and I- are buzzing about just how soon the start to the 2013 Calgary Stampede actually is! We are so excited to not only be spreading the word and generating excitement about the 101st Stampede, but getting ourselves and our Stampede horses ready for such an event! Over the course of the spring we have been busy keeping up with our events around the city, learning more about the different and exciting elements to this year’s Stampede (like Deep-fried Bubble Gum…!?!) , and riding our trusty equine partners, so that we are as prepared for the 2013 Stampede as we can be!

One of the most recent events my Stampede sisters and I attended was very close to my heart as we had an opportunity to get some younger generations excited about the Calgary Stampede and recruit potential Calgary Stampede Queen & Princesses! As Royalty we were asked to visit the Percy Pegler School in Okotoks for a meet & greet and story reading with the grade 1 classes. Now why was this particular event so special to me?? Well my little sister happened to be one of the students we got to visit! -And let me tell you, she was SO excited to be able to see myself, Catherine, Jessica and Amber in our ‘Royal’ gear at HER school! It was a very memorable moment to be able to share my passion and role as a Stampede Princess with my little sister and her classmates; plus I am pretty sure we convinced a large portion of the grade 1 girls, including my little sister of course, to think about becoming future Calgary Stampede Queen & Princesses! There was also an opportunity at the school for our French Princess, Catherine, to read to the grade 1 French class. I think that this was such a neat opportunity as it showed the diversity of our trio and how we have been able to relay the Calgary Stampede message through different avenues!  





After our visit with the grade 1 students we had an interview with Routes Magazine, which is a local lifestyle magazine for the community of High River. The article is titled “Life as 2013 Calgary Stampede Royalty” and it covers everything from why we wanted to become Stampede Royalty, to how we have managed to balance our Royal duties with our other commitments, to advice for the upcoming 2014 Trio! Here’s the link to give it a read!  

Although our duties as Stampede Royalty are ramping up and we seem to be getting continually busier, I’d like to take this time to say that I have been having a blast being a Calgary Stampede Princess! With the people I have been able to meet and experiences that have made some fantastic memories, this opportunity of being a member of the 2013 Stampede Royalty has been nothing short of an amazing adventure and I cannot wait to see what new and exciting adventures are just around the corner!

Have a great week and I will talk to you soon!!

-Princess Danielle

PS- Did you know May is the month of Mr. George Strait’s Birthday?? Well it is! And here is your song for the week-“Cowboys like Us” – a great song choice to get you in the Stampede spirit!

An Oasis in the Heart of Stampede Park

This summer, while exploring the many events and sights on Stampede Park you may find that you want a change of pace. Maybe you want to get out of the weather, or the crowds, or just to relax and unwind. You are in luck! We have an Oasis in the middle of the Park just for that!


Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn


Located inside halls D & E of the BMO Centre, you will find a calm, creative retreat known as the Western Oasis. One of the best parts about the Western Oasis, besides the air conditioning, is the feeling you get the moment you walk through the doors. The Western Showcase committee creates such a welcoming, intriguing, and calming atmosphere which makes the buzz of the Midway and Stampede Market feel like they’re 1,000 Kilometers away. Imagine a gently lit room that is illuminated by 2000 soft lights, the feeling of a relaxing breeze, the sounds of trickling water and hushed voices, and the beautiful scent of 1,600 flowers, shrubs, and plants.


Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood


One of the most magnificent sights is the breathtaking water wall that is highlighted by the glow of twinkling lights and colours. As you’re walking through, make sure you take a peek in the galleries and studios of the artists, as the artwork is simply amazing. You’re also welcome to take a seat at one of the barrel tables and enjoy a glass of wine in the wine garden. For your entertainment, the favourite Bronze Living Statues will also be in the Oasis throughout the day. Do they even blink?


Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn


This year, there will also be a very unique collection of corkscrews that will be on display. Paul Squires is bringing his personal collection of antique corkscrews that date all the way back to the 18th century. If the corkscrews are anything like the wine, they can only get better with age. The Remington Carriage Museum will also be providing the Stage Coach where you, friends, and family can have a great western photo opportunity.






Below is a list of areas to see within the Western Oasis:

Artists’ Studios offers a unique opportunity to meet and purchase art directly from the artists. The artists are on hand daily so you can learn about how that ‘must have’ piece of art was created.

Western Art Gallery features new and emerging Western artists whose original work reflects the life and times of Western Canadians of the past and present.

Western Art Auction – North America’s finest western art auction is held on Thursday, July 11. Auction pieces may be previewed in the Western Oasis until Wednesday, July 10. For ticket information visit

Western Photo Gallery showcases spectacular photos capturing the rich history of the West and the Calgary Stampede.

Artist Ranch Project Inspired by a visit to Scott Ranch, a working historical ranch in Alberta, contemporary artists will present their creations.


Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn


You can also experience a taste of western lifestyle and culture in action by visiting some of these areas in the Western Oasis:

Window on the West Stage – Guests will enjoy the eclectic mix of live music and cowboy poetry.

Creative Arts and Crafts - Daily demos take place in the Creative Arts & Crafts area where you can see traditional to modern crafting techniques. Maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new!

Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre features the best of western cooking with daily, non-stop cooking demos and the very popular Dueling Chefs competitions.

Wine Garden presented by Co-op, offers a selection of over 20 wine varieties of Canadian and international wines. Indulge in a glass of wine, along with a cheese plate or evening flambé. Wine specialists are featured daily between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.


Wine Garden


Did you know in the 2012 Western Oasis…

  • 2,000 lights were used
  • 100 trees were brought in and cared for
  • 1,600 shrubs, flowers, and plants were brought in and cared for
  • Over 200 tons of rock were lifted and placed


Written by:

Jillian Cook

Lindsey Kendrick


Mural restoration project on Stampede Park

Last week, the restored “Early Chuckwagon Race” mural was installed near the Victoria Park LRT station entrance to Stampede Park. This was the final of eight fully restored murals made possible with the participation of the Government of Canada.



Rocky Barstead painted the original mural in 1998 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the original chuckwagon race in 1923. Like some of the other restored murals, the original was painted on wood that had begun to disintegrate.

The original mural

The original mural

Barstead painted the new mural on 36 separate metal panels. He used five colours: the three primary colours-red, blue and yellow-and white and brown.

Mural panel detail

Mural panel detail


Mural panel detail

Calgary’s wild temperature fluctuations have to be taken into account as the new murals are installed. Metal, of course, contracts in cold and expands in heat, so the panels can’t be fitted too tightly together. Therefore, there are small spaces between the panels which you can’t see from a distance.

Restored mural

Restored mural

Make sure to check out all the restored murals around Stampede Park!


A day in the life at the Calgary Stampede OH Ranch

Greetings from the Calgary Stampede OH Ranch everyone!

So far we’ve talked about the guiding principles that will lead us forward here on the OH Ranch, but what’s day-to-day life like on a working cow ranch?

Well, our day starts a lot like yours: with a cup of coffee. At 6:30 a.m. Rob, the Ranch foreman and I are up and out, with one of us heading to Steer Flats pasture to check on the pregnant cows and see if anyone is calving. Right now, we have 45 cows waiting to have their calves.

03.16.13 OH Ladies - Foundational Herd at the OH Ranch

[The OH cattle on Steer Flats pasture. Photo taken by my wife, Deb Pigeon]

If a cow is ready to deliver, we leave her alone. The less interference, the better. These cows are designed to have calves and it’s best to let Mother Nature take care of herself. So far, she’s done an excellent job—we’ve only had to assist with four out of 173 births.

When a calf is born the mother licks it dry and then we let her ‘mother up.’ Those first few hours are critical bonding time.

Around 9 a.m., Rob saddles up to do a health check on the new calves and their mothers in Spring Coulee pasture.

Stampede Horse Rooster hanging in the Horse Barn

[Stampede horse Rooster hanging out in the horse barn]

In the afternoon, one of us rides out to check on the cows and tag new calves while the other preps for summer, fixing fences, mending saddles in the shop, and making sure the mowers and weeders will be ready for all the lawn maintenance on the horizon.

Sometimes, I’m in the office working on capital budgets and work plans. Yes, there’s administrative work even on a rural ranch.

Between mending fences, planning for summer and the other moving parts out here, it’s the simple things about calving that make this time of year truly special. A calf hitting the ground in good health. And when the two-week-olds start racing around like a bike-gang, butting heads and thinking they’re hot shots.


Play time - test of wills

[Play time, a test of wills.]

The view isn’t half-bad either.

West view from the home siteThanks for checking in with the OH Ranch! Next stop: summer.

You can find more about the OH Ranch on the Calgary Stampede website here.

Together we Ride Again! Stampede 101

With Stampede 101 just around the corner, there is a lot to be excited about! Thinking about all this excitement reminds me of all the adrenaline pumping rides that all thrill-seekers can find on the Midway. One of the best parts of summer, besides Stampede of course, is when you’re driving around town and you see the convoy of Midway rides coming down the road! That’s always been the sign that Stampede is just around the corner. I know we’re not quite there yet, and the roads are still “ride convoy” free, but it’s hard not to get excited when it’s only 56 days away!


Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn


With all that being said, when you’re planning your Stampede visit, you should know there are rides, games and thrills for people of all ages and for all thrill-tolerance levels! So whether you’re looking for the heart pounding, brain scrambling, extreme thrill, or the light-hearted, smile instilling, mild ride, there is something for you!

We’re lucky enough to work with our Midway partner, North American Midway Entertainment (N.A.M.E), to bring you some of the best rides to the Midway. N.A.M.E is the world’s largest travelling outdoor amusement park, which serves over 15 million fairgoers every year in 4 provinces and 20 American states. For Stampede, N.A.M.E brings the main Midway rides, games and several food concessions. They also bring the Kids’ Midway, which is perfect for the mini thrill-seekers! You can check out the rides and the “Size Wize” program on their website at


Photo Credit: Tye Carson


For those of you who soared across the Park on the Centennial Zip Line last year, you’ll have to try out some other sky-high rides, as it was only for the Centennial celebration. However, we’ve got a new ride coming to town! The brand new Mach 3 is a tummy tumbler, with two sets of seats mounted back-to-back on each end of a 37 metre arm. Each four-seat assembly can swing a full 360 degrees while in rotation. Once Mach 3 begins, you better hold on tight because the arm will rotate up to 13 revolutions per minute, producing an acceleration of 3.5g on the riders! It might be a little daring for me, but maybe Space Cowboy Commander Hadfield will be up for the challenge?  You can check out the new Mach 3 in action by visiting N.A.M.E. on Facebook.


Photo Credit: N.A.M.E.


For your riding entertainment the newest rollercoaster, Outlaw (named after the famous bull), that premiered for our Centennial, will be returning! Riders will need to raise their hands as they blast out of the chutes, dipping and twisting, much like the famed Stampede Outlaw – who was considered one of the rankest animals in the world of rodeo.


Photo Credit: Bill Marsh


Some of our independent vendors will also be bringing your favourites like the Skyscraper Two, the Slingshot and the Eurobungy. If extreme rides aren’t your thing, you can plan a trip on some of the Midway classics like the Ferris wheel and WestJet Sky Ride!

If you want to save some money, and who doesn’t, you can pick up a Stampede Midway Card, available exclusively at Safeway until Thursday, July 4th. There are two card options available, which offer over 20% in ride savings! The first card is the 56 Coupons card, which is valid on all 10 days of Stampede. The second card option is a Ride All Day card, which is valid only on weekdays and only for the day it is activated. Another perk of these cards, is that if your feet get tired and you want to zip across Park, they can be used for the WestJet Sky Ride!


Advance Midway 1Midway


After writing about all of these cool rides and experiences, I have one more ride related topic that I want to mention. The Queens’ Alumni Committee together with Southland Transportation has this really great program called Giddy-Up Grits. This is a program which provides a morning of Stampede fun for children with special needs.

The experience includes a pancake breakfast (Yum!), clowns and jugglers, free rides in the Kids’ Midway and on select main Midway rides, mascots and celebrities, a petting zoo, Superdog tickets, and FUN! This event is invite only, but if you or someone you know is interested in participating, you can email for more information.


Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn


I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the rides and ride programs, and are getting as excited as I am!

Ps. Did you know that it takes less than 2 seconds to drop 130 feet on the Mega Drop Tower?

Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood

Written by:

Jillian Cook

Lindsey Kendrick

Commander Chris Hadfield is Calgary Stampede’s 2013 Parade Marshal!

Did you hear? Commander Chris Hadfield will be Calgary Stampede’s 2013 Parade Marshal! As huge admirers of Commander Hadfield, we are over the moon (sorry guys, couldn’t resist) that he will be here with us to celebrate this year.

Here’s how it all went down.

After this Twitter exchange…



Calgary Stampede President Bob Thompson issued this offical invitation on YouTube.

And Commander Hadfield said “Yes!”

We are so honoured that you’ll be joining us Commander Hadfield- see you in July! Yahoo!


Several years ago I found myself browsing through coffee table books at a local bookstore looking for a book featuring Canadian Prairie photographs as a gift for some American friends. I came across a book titled, “It’s Just Prairie.” Flipping through the book I discovered beautiful photographs of my favourite place in the world – the Canadian Prairies. But something bothered me – the title. I thought, “It’s not JUST Prairie; It’s Prairie!”

I thought back to this book recently when a few people told me about this article titled, “I’m JUST a farmer.” I couldn’t agree more with the writer. A farmer is not just a farmer. Today’s modern farmer is a businessman (or woman), mechanic, marketer, accountant, agronomist, veterinarian, truck driver, human resources manager and so much more. And besides all this, farmers have one of the greatest responsibilities – to help feed a growing world.

The nature of a farmer’s work requires diversity and versatility. Farmers have a whole wealth of skills under their belt but they’re typically not ones to brag about these skills. They’d rather fly under the radar – simply going about their day-to-day lives getting the work done.

Unfortunately, farmers are known for thinking of themselves as just farmers. But rather, a farmer should be proud to be a farmer and say it with pride.

If you’re a farmer, the next time you’re at a party and someone asks you what you do, I encourage you to say with pride, “I’m a farmer,” and talk about the skills needed to run a successful farm.

And if you’re at a party and you hear someone say, “I’m just a farmer,” I encourage you to pipe up and remind them of the variety of skills they possess and need to be a successful farmer.

2013 Calgary Stampede only two months away !

I look  up at the date today and I realized that there`s already only five months left in our reign. I feel like not too long ago we were just starting. This amazing adventure kept us so busy we haven’t seen the time fly by. And what to say about the Stampede being only 2 months away!! I can`t wait, I am so excited! Every week our schedule is getting more and more busy.

 The past week has been a fun week, filled with few different events. Last Saturday we were busy with the amazing photographer Ted Dawson, one of our generous sponsors, for a great photo shoot. Ted has been giving lots of his time to the Royalty program since… since a very long time ago, over 20 years! A huge thank you to Ted who sponsored unbelievable portrait and group shots of us. These will be there to for us to remember how wonderful our year was as Royalty.

ted dawson photoshoot

On the Sunday, it was time for us to put our running shoes on for a great cause – the Lupus Run/Walk. So we, the Calgary Stampede Royalty, including Indian Princess, decided to run a 5k. We are busy all year long but we don’t get the chance to run 5 km everyday so let me tell you that this was a challenge, but we all did an amazing time! But I forgot how sore you can be from a long run… haha. But, no time to complain, the next Monday night we were riding our royal horses Hawk, Snoopy and Kansas. Rodeo season has started and parades are coming quickly! We have to get these ponies back in good shape!

The highlight of my week was our TV interview at Hello-Bonjour on Shaw TV on Tuesday night, I always get excited when I get a chance to express myself in French! So Jessica and Danielle did a portion in English and after I did the same but in French. It`s great for me to represent the French community of Alberta!

I just want to remind everyone that you can follow our adventure on Facebook  at Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses and on Twitter at StampedeQandP!