Don your boots for a Roundup! – Let the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth take you back to the Wild West. With Daredevil riders an attraction in themselves, there’s plenty more to this global extravaganza that sees eye-popping parades, action-packed chuckwagon racing, and the ‘‘Cowboy Up’’ challenge. Yee-Haw!
The fun begins with a rousing parade featuring dozens of marching bands, over 150 floats, and hundreds of horses. In their red serges, cowboys, First Nations dancers, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police members are joined by clowns, bands, politicians, and business leaders.
Short History of the Calgary Stampede
The annual event traces its roots back to 1886, when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair. In the early 1900s, Guy Weadlick, an American promoter, teamed up with H.C. McMullen, a livestock trader for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and put together a frontier show tribute to the Old West, complete with cowboy championship, 200 head of Mexican steers, 200 bucking steers, and wild horses. The first Stampede was in 1919 post-WWI, and it became an annual event in 1923 (with a hiatus during the Depression). Today, it’s more than a ten-day-long celebration with midway rides and bucking broncos.
Every night, the blast of a klaxon kicks off one of the most thrilling events you may ever see — the chuckwagon races. Four thoroughbred horses race a chuckwagon around a track accompanied by outriders who load a stove and camp poles on the wagon, then complete an eight-point barrel pattern before thundering out onto the track.
In Calgary, nine heats of four chuckwagons each provide excitement that’s off the charts! When the last wagon thunders over the finish line, the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show begins with elaborate song and dance performances, acrobatics, and a spectacular fireworks finale!