Smith wears apron at second prime minister’s Stampede breakfast

Smith wears apron at second prime minister’s Stampede breakfast
Smith wears apron at second prime minister’s Stampede breakfast

Crowds of people lined up Monday to be served pancakes by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith at her official breakfast at the Calgary Stampede.

It was Smith’s second annual appearance at the traditional event. This year, she said, the Stampede feels different.

“I feel like we’re back in the mood,” she told reporters.

According to Smith, people see the 10-day festival and rodeo as an opportunity to do business and honor the county’s heritage through the many events.

“There was a time a couple of years ago when the economy wasn’t doing so well (and) everyone was scaling back their parties. And I just don’t feel that way this year,” Smith said.

The prime minister’s office said about 3,600 people were fed on Monday and about 4,000 people attended. Officials said it was the largest turnout in more than a decade.

On Sunday, Alberta Opposition New Democrat Leader Naheed Nenshi hosted his first caucus Stampede event. Members there praised a jump in attendance at NDP Stampede events since Nenshi took over in June, replacing outgoing leader Rachel Notley.

Smith, who addressed the breakfast crowd, celebrated the city’s exit from water restrictions after a catastrophic water main break a month ago. Crews repaired the break and the emergency was lifted just in time for the Stampede.

“You all look great now that you’ve had a chance to shower,” Smith told the crowd, as several people gathered to take photos of the prime minister.

Smith thanked city officials and employees for their efforts, the San Diego Water Authority for their assistance in installing replacement pipes, and Calgary residents for their community spirit.

“You took a bad situation and made sure it didn’t turn into a crisis. I appreciate all of you doing your part.”

Along with members and ministers from the United Conservative Party, Smith also welcomed a dozen dignitaries from the United States.

The US Ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, was put to work pouring syrup alongside the prime minister.

During a local ceremony, the prime minister also offered white cowboy hats in exchange for a promise from her American visitors to spread Calgary’s hospitality.

At the McDougall Centre, the headquarters of the provincial government in Calgary, they closed the event with a collective “yahoo!”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2024.