What is the Calgary Stampede

What is the Calgary Stampede? 

By Julia Leblanc

Every year in July, the city of Calgary holds the Calgary Stampede, which is a rodeo, festival, and exhibition all in one. It’s a fast-paced event that lasts for 10 days and is frequented by a million people from all over the world each year. 

It’s a big festival that has many activities – such as the Stampede Rodeo and midway rides. You can also enjoy live music and different kinds of food.

It’s truly a great spectacle of all western entertainment. How does a day go in the Calgary Stampede? 

Of course, each person has different preferences, but we have some suggestions. You can start the day off with some free pancakes for brunch

You can also go straight to the rodeo, which is probably the most popular festivity in the Calgary Stampede. They have six main events that you can check out: bull riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping, saddle bronc,  bareback riding, and barrel racing. 

It has a prize of over 100,000 CAD to the winners of each tournament. It offers the biggest payout, making it an event everyone looks forward to. 

If you’re not satisfied by the adrenaline pumping shows at the rodeo, there are also some extreme stunts to check out at the Bell Adrenaline Ranch. 

There’s also chuckwagon racing at the Calgary Stampede called the Rangeland Derby, which are also given the names “half-mile of hell” and “dash for cash”. It’s very popular, with over 36 teams playing for 1.15 million CAD. 

You can also see the agriculture of the land in their yearly exhibition. The Agriculture Zone holds displays and different kinds of competitions such as a cutting event, blacksmith competition, stock dog trials, and team penning competitions. 

It’s also a way to teach the public about the rich agricultural heritage Alberta has. Aside from agricultural exhibitions, they also have the Midway, which is the carnival in the Calgary Stampede. 

There are rides such as roller coasters and ferris wheels and carnival games where you can win your date prizes. There are also a lot of food stands with interesting kinds of treats such as foot-long hot dogs and mini donut ice lollies. 

You can also groove along to country music in the different music shows during the festival – as they say, there’s nothing like live music. There’s the Coca-Cola stage that holds free shows with some up and coming artists. 

You can also dance Texas-style in Nashville North if you’re in the mood for country music. Just bring your family, find a patch of grass to lay your picnic blanket on and enjoy the show. 

To add to all these festivities, there are also a lot of vendors selling their products in a big marketplace for everyone to enjoy. The Market holds a mix of retail and entertainment. 

The Maker’s Market is fascinating because it has local artisan products and goods. It’s great because you get to support small businesses and locals by purchasing unique products that you can only get there. 

For the budding artists of the family, there’s also an arts show. The Art Gallery gives emerging artists the spotlight from different art schools in the country by selling their artwork. 

Annually, a jury picks the featured artists. There are so many great art forms and styles whether traditional, abstract, modern, over all kinds of mediums. 

There’s definitely something for everyone. 

If you’re new to Calgary, this festival is definitely an event you should not miss. It doesn’t just hold events but it shows the heritage and culture of Calgary that’s deeply-rooted, fun, and welcoming. 

It’s the best place to bring school children, from nursery, preschool, elementary school, even older kids in high school and college because it’s a family event with something for everyone.


The Calgary Stampede is definitely an important event in the lives of the people of Calgary. We hope we were able to give you a rundown of what to expect and look forward to. 

Did we miss any activity during The Calgary Stampede? Let us know in the comments. 

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