Calgary Stampede: The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

What makes it so popular?


This year the Stampede will start from Friday, July 8 until Sunday, July 17. Founded in 1886 Calgary Canada, this 10-day event has its historical and cultural background. This annual rodeo, exhibition and festival are actually the greatest outdoor show on earth. Every year more than million people visit this festival to see the world's biggest rodeos, midway, stage shows, parades, concerts. Also one can enjoy agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions at Calgary stampede.

Before we discuss what you can find at the greatest festival on earth, let's discuss its interesting history,


Though Calgary and District Agricultural Society held the first fair in 1886 but rodeo and festival started in 1912 which is now known as the Stampede. It was basically created to honor soldiers who took part and returning from WWI.

Who Run The Calgary Stampede?


Calgary Stampede is basically run by volunteers which are more than thousand and it is supported by civic leaders. Described briefly in our next article, this festival has grown into one of the world's richest rodeos, not only it is the country's largest festivals but also it is a significant tourist attraction. Almost all events are shown on T.V across Canada and America. There is some amount of increasing international criticism by animal welfare groups regarding animal rights and these organizations are trying to ban rodeo at the stampede.

A National and International Identity


Calgary stampede has become national and international identity, it is so popular, and Calgary is also called "Stampede City". Natives call this city "Cowtown" and their football team 'Stampeders'. There are many events held on this 10 day event but mainly people go for rodeo and exhibitions that offers cheerful atmosphere, wide variety of items to buy and eateries.


What You Should Not Miss At Calgary Stampede?


This year as per custom, the stampede will start with the parade. Let's discuss big events that should not be missed because they are the heart of the stampede.



The first parade at stampede was held in 1912, and amazingly 75000 people took part in it that was greater than the city's population. With the presence of Prince Williams and Catherine in 2011, almost 400 hundred thousand people came to see this wonderful parade. 


Shortly before 9 AM, every year on the first Friday of the event the stampede is officially begin with the parade. The interesting thing about the parade is the parade Marshall, he can be a Politician, athlete, actor or other dignitary chosen by people.


The parade is actually an exhibition of various marching bands, more than a hundred floats and horses with entrants. 



Actually, it's the rodeo that is the heart of the Calgary Stampede than the parade. How can it not be, with having a chance to win the prize of $100,000 to the winner? Participants (cowboys) perform in front of thousands of fans every day during the festival.


Stampede rodeo consists of six major disciplines:

  • Bull Riding,
  • Barrel Racing,
  • Steer Wrestling,
  • Tie Down Roping,
  • Saddle Bronc
  • Bareback Riding

Rangeland Derby


Also called 'chuckwagon racing', invented by Weadick in 1923 is now a popular reason to be in a stampede. Also called 'half-mile of hell' this event has now become very popular.  Having a chance to win $1.15 million, 36 teams compete with each while thousands of people cheer for their teams. Rangeland derby is also considered as an indicator of the strength of Calgary's economy because of the revenue it generated in 2012 (i.e. $4 million).