Springbank resident looking forward to his 75th Stampede
While the Calgary Stampede celebrates is 100th birthday from July 6 to 15, one Springbank resident is celebrating 75 years of involvement with the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
Eric Longeway began showing sheep and lambs in the Stampede when he was 10 years old. In the years to follow, he also showed pigs and poultry. In 1936, when he was 13, he started showing Jersey cattle.
“I took my first herd in when I was 13 and did it every year until 1991,” Longeway said. “I’m a Life Member of the Stampede.
“I work with the dairy committee and I’m also working with different groups that are looking at the future of the Stampede.”
Longeway will also be in this year’s Stampede Parade on July 6 with a team of miniature horses.
The 86 year old has volunteered in different aspects of the Stampede since 1954, including a stint as the associate director.
He has also been a 4-H judge for everything from horses and pigs to sheep and grain. He said being involved has always been interesting work.
“We’re always working to promote agriculture, which is an important part of the Stampede,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a family tradition, my daughter and granddaughter are both involved as well.
“My daughter looks after Aggie Days and my granddaughter is the head of Agrium’s Ag-Tivity in the City, which connects the city and agriculture. We stay connected in many ways.”
Longeway said he has seen an unimaginable amount of changes to the Stampede over the years, and he hopes agriculture remains a big part of the celebration in the years to come.
“It’s hard to imagine the changes that have taken place, it’s amazing,” he said. “But we have to be careful that it doesn’t shy away from agriculture too much, because that’s still a major part of it.
“The agricultural fairs were the beginnings of the Stampede, and it’s always great to have competitions. They bring out the best in animals and they bring out the best in people as well.”
Longeway said he is looking very forward to the 100th Stampede, and greatly values the connection he has had with the event for most of his life.
“I’m very pleased to still be connected, it’s great.”
For more information about the Calgary Stampede, visit www.calgarystampede.com