Cowboys, rodeos, concerts, rides, fair food, fireworks… the Calgary Stampede is 10 days of Yahooing fun. If you enjoy festivals (and cowboys) this is the place to be in July. The entire city participates in the events, streets are closed, businesses shut down and stores are transformed to celebrate Calgary Canada’s western heritage. Free pancake breakfasts with live music and activities for the children are held at various locations daily, find one on Flapjack Finder. The grounds are over 400 acres; be sure to check schedules and have a plan. Pull out your hat, boots and over-sized belt buckle and join the million plus people who attend Calgary Stampede.
Opening ceremonies begin with a parade of over 150 floats, marching bands, horses, horses and more horses. The Midway is similar to a county fair on steroids. The rides are extreme and the deep-fried-food-on-a-stick is top notch. There is livestock and agriculture events, a blacksmith competition, exhibition hall, over 200 vendors, square dancing, mechanical bull riding and even a Pow Wow. Music plays a big role at the Calgary Stampede, concerts are held at several venues on and off grounds daily. Check the schedule for this year’s headliners.
It’s easy to join the excitement as you watch the best compete for big money. Rodeo events include: bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie down roping, saddle bronc and bareback riding. My favorite is wild pony racing, that pony and those children are the cutest thing! Do not miss a chance to see chuck wagon racing, this “half mile of hell” thunders the grand stand. Speaking of grand stands, the evening Grand Stand Show of 400 performers is worth the cost of the ticket. Fireworks follow the Grand Stand Show nightly. Calgary is a great city to explore and is the closest airport to Banff National Park.
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