As usual, Calgary is becoming the cowboy capital of the world in July. For ten days and nights, from the 5th to 15th, the Stampede will take you back in history. Even more, the 100th Stampede promises even bigger celebrations and is expecting more than 1 million visitors.
The Stampede offers a series of Wild West themed events, while it also promotes the very diverse heritage of contemporary Canadians. At the Stampede, you can find people of all different backgrounds coming together to have fun.
Remembering History of the Stampede
Program for 1912 Calgary Stampede
by Wikimedia Commons
Because of the very special anniversary, this year’s activities will more focused on the history of the festival. From the original “Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest”, founded in 1912, the Calgary Stampede has become one of the greatest settler and first nations meetings in the world. The Stampede has through its history experienced various successes and developed a broader base of activities than the original rodeo.
We can consider the Stampede a popular and important American event since 1966, when it was opened by American president John F. Kennedy. Another very important visitor was Queen Elizabeth, who opened the Stampede in 1973. Last year, we could welcome Prince William with his wife, Kate.
Today, the Stampede is trying to build an image of an environmentally friendly festival and it also takes very special care of the animals used for the festival activities. This includes groups of veterinarians, enough food and water, and other types of animal care.
With the attendance of over 1 million visitors every year, the Stampede also tries to improve the experience for tourists. With the exception of the Winter Olympic Games in 1988, the Stampede is definitely the most important event for the whole of Alberta.
The main focus of the festival activities is in the Stampede park. It’s open 24/7 and offers entertainment for everyone. You can go with your kids to BMO Kids’ Zone to play free style soccer or you can visit the BMO Centerin Stampede Casino to shop, rest, or learn some new cooking recipes with renowned experts and celebrities. The BMO Centre also hosts the Stampede Talent Search, which starts July the 6th at 1:30 P.M.
Some of the new events for this year’s Stampede will take place at Bell Centennial Plaza. You can attend the Calgary folk festival with many interesting musicians, or you can come in the evening to watch Adam and Selina Masters of Illusion with their magic show at 7:00 P.M. every day. Right after them, the Bell Centennial Plaza will offer the Recycled Percussion event.
The place for true action is in the Calgary Grandstand. Rodeo and chuckwagon racing are the two main sport shows that attract the best cowboys in the world to show their skills for the prize money of more than 1 million dollars. You can come to see athletes riding animals at the rodeo every day from 1:15 P.M. Or you can come in the evening, when the Grandstand turns into a race track presenting GMC Rangeland Derby featuring unique chuckwagon racing. After the last race finishes, the Calgary Grandstand will change once more into the TransAlta Grandstand Show, featuring country superstar Paul Brandt and Young Canadians. This show will be composed of country music, acrobatics, comedy, and dancing. Organizers also promise the show will be finished with a great fireworks display coming from a special birthday cake.
For visitors who want to get more into the spirit of the good old times, there is a special event hosted in the Corral. The movie Tails will tell a story through horses’ eyes. Check the interesting trailer for Tails and experience this great legend with very promising visuals and atmosphere.
For those interested in good quality pop and country music, you should go to see some of the best musicians Calgary has ever hosted. For its 100th birthday, the Stampede was able to attract The Beach Boys, who are celebrating their 50th birthday with a world tour. Another highly anticipated artist is Garth Brooks, who has already sold out his concert.
The list of events is much longer, including a lottery, all types of food (who doesn’t love a pancake breakfast?), thrill rides, marching bands, or even a beach that features palm trees, real sand, and special island shops. To check all the possibilities the Stampede has to offer, go to their official pages or just click here.
This year’s Stampede will change the life of the city for ten days. It’s going to bring hundreds of thousands of tourists, music, and animals, but also more attention. It can be refreshing or exhausting, funny or stupid, charming or overcrowded, but it will mean more interest in Calgary. Our city is a beautiful place and thanks to the Stampede, we have a chance to show it to the world.