Some with shopping bags, others in business suits, thousands lined up during lunch hour to snag free white cowboy hats yesterday.

Yesterday kicked off the Get Your Head In A Hat campaign that Stampede organizers hope will promote not only the spirit of the west, but the love of Calgary itself.

“It’s to promote western values and our history,” Judi Jackson from the Downtown Attraction Committee said of their efforts.


Three Stephen Avenue locations had people lining up down the block for one of the 13,000 hats.

In total, the committees have 25,000 hats to give away and some who missed out might score one at an event like the caravan breakfasts.

“I think it’s fabulous. It’s an awesome idea,” said Andrea Burry, who added that she waited less than five minutes to get through the 100-pace line near the Bay.

EMS workers and Promotion Committee manned the crowds, handing out hats and making sure they actually made it on heads.

Mona Enachescu, smiling while examining her gift, said her favourite part was that the hats were white.
“They’re the Calgary symbol and I feel proud to wear them,” she said.

Over the next while, “spotters” will be out and about, policing malls, parks, and the streets to award prizes, such as rodeo or concert tickets, to those wearing hats. They have $2.6 million in prizes to give away.

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