The Calgary Stampede is Here!

Calgary Stampede Logo
Calgary Stampede Logo

“The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” traditionally attracts more than a million guests, but this year two of them will be special. Calgarians are happy to welcome Prince William and his new bride, Kate. But the Royal visit isn’t the only specialty of Calgary Stampede 2011.

Buy Tickets in Advance

The Stampede will run from Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 17. Stampede organizers promise ten days of rodeo, steer-wrestling, chuck wagon races, Grandstand show, and concerts. Tickets are available here. You can buy ticket packages that include admission to other local attractions, such as Canada Olympic Park or Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. The Stampede website also allows you to plan your Stampede for each day.

Kate and William by UK repsome
Kate and William by UK repsome

Controversial Over the Royal Couple’s Visit

The Stampede and the Calgary Zoo are among the few places the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will see during their two-day visit to Calgary on July 7 and 8. “I, for one, am thrilled they’re coming during one of Canada’s premiere events,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Their visit to the Stampede is controversial, however, and animal rights organizations urge them to skip it. “He [the Prince] really shouldn’t be endorsing this type of animal cruelty,” said Steve Taylor, chief campaigner for Britain’s League Against Cruel Sports. PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk warns that William and Kate are walking into a “hotbed of controversy” if they attend the event.

Calgary Stampede by Danteling
Calgary Stampede by Danteling

Animal Rights

Last year, six animals died at the Calgary Stampede: two horses died of heart attacks, two were euthanized after injuries, and another broke its back while bucking too hard. Another died after a chuck wagon race. This disturbed many animal welfare organizations, and the Calgary Humane Society has begun to work with the Stampede to improve animal welfare. All horses will now be inspected by veterinarians when the animals arrive at the Stampede and before and after each race. Horses will have one full day off out of every four, and the number of outriders will be reduced from four to two. “The sport of rodeo and chuck wagon racing has never been safer than it is now at the Calgary Stampede,” event spokesman Doug Fraser said.

For Families

Families can decide for one of the Calgary Stampede Caravan Breakfasts for which the city is well known, then watch the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, and after the chuck wagon races (one of the most popular Stampede events), they can enjoy music, dancing, and singing. Moreover, a firework show is prepared for the start and end days of the event. Children will surely enjoy the Kids’ Midway that opens at 11:00 a.m. Don’t forget about the Superdogs at the Big Four Building.

For Adventures

Canada Olympic Park is the right choice for everyone who wants to experience some exciting moments. There is North America’s fastest zip line, Skyline. Visitors can walk the ropes on the Challenge Course and experience the Z-trip, a human-sized ball that rolls downhill on a track. You should make a trip out to the Calgary Climbing Centre for indoor climbing across different angles and terrains. The Stampede also challenges you to test your limits on the Fireball.

For Music Fans

Over the years, the Stampede has hosted stars like Alan Jackson, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, George Strait, Reba, and Gretchen Wilson. This year, you can enjoy concerts by Kenney Chesney, Sugarland, Katy Perry, Alyssa Reid, NKOTBSB, New Kids On The Block & Backstreet Boys, and a lot more. Tickets are on sale here. The Stampede Talent Search is a traditional competition for young people talented with vocals, instruments, musical theatre, dance, or variety acts. All you need to know about music events at the Stampede is here.

For Food-Lovers

The Stampede is also a great event for culinary enthusiasts. According to organizers, this year’s must-try foods are pork chop on a stick, mac-and-cheese pizza, and a doughnut burger. But probably the most popular food option are mini-doughnuts — more than two million are sold each year. Pop Tarts, Colossal Onion, Kubie Korn Balls, Calamari, Turkeytini, Doughnut Burger, Samosas, Kubie Korn Dog, Gourmet Pretzel Sticks, and much more delicatessen fare will be offered in this great Calgary event. You can find all about the Stampede’s food here.

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