Calgary Stampede: An Event You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
On July 6–15, more than 1 million visitors will attend the Calgary Stampede, an event called “the greatest outdoor show on Earth.”
This annual 10-day festival generates much excitement because it features one of the world’s biggest rodeos. The fun also includes live music, rides, a county fair, fireworks, shopping and food vendors galore. Since it’s the extravaganza entertainment for all ages, it’s no wonder that the popularity increases every year.
In the rodeo performances, expect an adrenaline rush as you watch the amazing feats of some of the industry’s finest competitors. The contests include steer wrestling, bareback riding, tie-down roping, bull riding and barrel racing. These shows that display cowboy skills and tricks are scheduled daily at 1:15pm.
The spectacular nightly evening entertainment starts at 7:45pm. It begins with the GMC Rangeland Derby, which comprises chuck-wagon races. The ground will vibrate with the pounding of hooves as teams vie for more than a million dollars in prize money.
After the derby, the program continues with the Grandstand Show, a unique meld of pageantry, theatrics, singing and dancing. Performers include the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede, Calgary Adult Choir and Alberta Ballet. This show that celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday is designed to reflect the country’s past, present and future.
Animal lovers can find many delights at attractions like Country Critters, Horse Haven, Sheep Showcase and the Miniature Donkey Showcase. One of the not-to-miss amusements is the dog bowl, where canine stars show off their high jumping.
The Heritage Cabin shows how the pioneers of the West lived, while the Blacksmith Classic demonstrates horseshoeing. In the Agrium Seed Survivor, kids and their families learn about plants and agriculture through hands-on activities.
No one goes home hungry, as gastronomic adventures ranging from the sublime to the outrageous await. You’re sure to find something tantalizing from among the hundreds of food trucks and booths. Last year’s imaginative highlights, such as rolled ice cream and a waffle cone filled with raw cookie dough, were big hits with the crowd. Fried food aficionados can choose from deep-fried Jell-O and other creative offerings.
Things to Know
Attire: Casual, relaxed clothing is recommended, and if your wardrobe includes cowboy hats and boots, break ‘em out. Average Calgary daily high temperatures in July hover around 24°C, but it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket.
Dollars: At least a dozen automated teller machines will be scattered around the park, and U.S. dollars are accepted.
Parking: Because parking at the event is limited, you’re encouraged to take public transit to the Stampede. The park is wheelchair accessible.
Admission: Park admission is $9 for children and seniors and $18 for adults. If you plan to attend the Stampede Rodeo and Evening Show, tickets start at $40, and the cost includes park admission. An extra fee is charged for rides.