Calgary Stampede

A tradition dating back to 1912, the Calgary Stampede is a rodeo extravaganza, "the greatest outdoor show on earth."

Head for the grandstand to watch the hotly-contested rodeo events such as bronco-riding, chuckwagon racing, barrel racing and steer-wrestling. Or, take in show dog extravaganzas, an Indian village complete with tipis and traditional dancing and crafts, blacksmith competitions, metal art displays and a huge midway.
The kids' fun is centered around the Buckaroos area. There's a toddler play area and crafts such as button making and face painting. On the Buckaroo stage, catch a Wild West Show and elsewhere you can find kids pedal tractor pull competitions, a Midway just for little ones and a variety of family entertainers on the Coca-Cola stage. Older kids will enjoy the midway with its thrilling rides and corn-dog vendors.
The Stampede Parade - The parade on the first Friday of the event, is one of the festival's oldest and largest traditions. It is led by the Calgary Stampede Showband and follows a route through the downtown core (west along 6th Ave from 2nd St S.E., south on 10th St S.W. and east along 9th Ave). The parade begins around 9am; if you want a good seat you'll need to arrive early.
There are loads of free events to enjoy around the city during the Stampede. Free pancake breakfasts take place throughout the city (including one daily at Olympic Plaza) serving up pancakes, sausages, drinks and live entertainment.
The Stampede offers special rates for families on family day and kid's day, but expect crowds. The best way to reach the Stampede grounds is to take the C-Train and alight at Victoria Park as parking can be hard to find. Dress western get into the spirit of the Stampede - cowboy hats recommended.
Tip: It can get very hot in the Stampede grounds but it has also been known to snow. Check the weather forecast before you go and be prepared with sunscreen and extra water or a warm jacket and a hat.
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