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Canada: The Stampede will go on; so might the rain

I ask you: Is there anything nicer than a Canadian? A puppy? A nun? No, Canadians are definitely nicer than nuns.

All cheekiness aside, even when you visit this country often, you can’t help but be struck by the genuine character of the people – the friendly conversations at lunch, the attentiveness of the hotel front desk.

So when recent floods ravaged Calgary, site of one of the world’s great rodeos, it’s probably no surprise that volunteers raced to the rescue. Not only did they show up by the thousands to help salvage the rodeo venues, but they also worked on the little places that were devastated by the high water, such as the southern Alberta town of, ironically enough, High River.

The rain seems to have stopped — for now — and record warm weather has hastened the cleanup. The Calgary Stampede will step off as planned on Friday with a parade at 9 a.m., followed by such traditions as the chuckwagon race during the 10-day event.

Sure, a lot of work remains to be done. Hundreds of residents suffered home losses, and the Calgary Zoo has laid off almost 300 workers after sustaining $50 million in flood damage. But the Stampede will go on mostly as planned, with Canadian resilience as its lead act.

But Calgary's problems may not be over just yet. The forecast calls for more rain Friday, just as the rodeo kicks off.

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