1410 Stampede Trail SE,Calgary, AB T2G 2W1,Canada
The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This event claims to be the "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world's largest rodeos, a parade, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.
In 1912, American promoter Guy Weadick organized his first rodeo and festival, known as the Stampede. He returned to Calgary in 1919 to organize the Victory Stampede in honour of soldiers returning from World War I. Weadick's festival became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to create the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.
Now the Calgary Stampede has grown into one of the world's richest rodeos, one of Canada's largest festivals and a significant tourist attraction for the city. Rodeo and chuckwagon racing events are televised across Canada.
Calgary's national and international identity is tied to the event. It is known as the "Stampede City".
And in that spirit, today’s Stampede in some ways is comparable to a 21st-century barn raising: With only about 300 core staff, the Stampede’s not-for-profit corporation marshals 2,400 volunteers, organized by volunteer committees year-round, and today all connected by mobile phones and social media.
During the stampede time there are parties, functions, family events, year after year are based on the Stampede. You can’t arrive in the city without knowing the Stampede is on. People decorate the streets. And companies take pride in having their employees be part of the Stampede as volunteers.
For many people here, whatever else the Stampede means, rodeo is the main event. And if you’re lucky enough to grab a $300 infield seat directly overlooking the action, you’ll experience it as a contact sport: daring, punishing, and potentially deadly to both rider and animal alike. Like Calgary itself, the rodeo is a gritty historical struggle for success and resources in a high-tech marketplace.
Whatever the story’s really about, people still love the rodeo, the midway and the free breakfasts.
The Calgary Stampede is held each year in Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta. The park is south of downtown in an area known as the Beltline District. On the park grounds are the Pengrowth Saddledome arena, the Round-Up Centre, a newly constructed Stampede Casino, a racetrack and an agriculture building. Stampede Park is set to expand even further, and as of August 2009, construction was still in progress on a new hotel, retail area, parking facility and fresh landscaping.
In 2012, the Calgary Stampede marked its centennial - 100 years since the first Calgary Stampede in 1912.
In 2013 the Stampede will run from Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 14 (and in 2014, July 4-13).
Tickets for visiting the Stampede Grounds are easy to purchase at the main entrances during Stampede. If you plan to see the rodeo events, chuckwagon races, the evening Grandstand show, or concerts, it's best to purchase tickets online in advance; these tickets also include admission to the Stampede Grounds.
The Stampede Grounds open to the public at 8 am each day; but there is very little for visitors to do until 11 am.
The Calgary Stampede ceases operations at 11 pm each night (when the fireworks begin), and the grounds are closed at midnight. During Stampede Week, C-Trains run 24 hours a day, and selected bus routes also have extended hours.
Make sure to bring cash. Many of the admission booths take cash only.
The ten-day festival starts off with a parade through the streets of downtown Calgary. In 2013, the Stampede Parade will take place on the morning of Friday, July 5. On parade day, much downtown Calgary is closed to vehicles from 7:30 a.m. until around 1:00 pm. For that reason, if you're going to see the parade, you should take the C-Train to get downtown. And if you're staying in a downtown hotel affected by the parade closures you won't be able to get your car into or out of the hotel parking.
Mapview of Calgary Stampede
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