The 2016 dates are 08 – 17 July. The Calgary Stampede is essentially a 10 day event whereby the Top 20 Cowboys for each event in the world compete in a range of events for a place in the Semis and Finals and the opportunity to win some of the $2m prize money.
The Rodeo Event is run every afternoon from 2pm until about 4pm. Every day you will see each event:
- Bareback Riding (Bulls)
- Tie Down Roping (Calves)
- Steer Wrestling
- Saddle Bronc riding
- Barrel Racing (Women)
- Bull Riding
- And also Junior events of some of these.
Then in the evening starting at 7.45pm they have the ChuckWagon Racing – this is heart stopping exciting as they race 4 Chuckwagons led by 4 horses and 2 outriders. They have to do a Figure of 8 in front of the stands then race like mad to get around the racetrack. They run about 9 races.
Then this is followed by the Evening Show – this is a 2 hour extravaganza, part show, musical, cirque de soleil, aerial acrobatics and fireworks show. Basically they roll up a very big portable stage and they have high wires setup for acrobatics etc.
The Stampede Grounds are easily accessed on the metro. The whole town is geared up for this event, everyone is dressed in jeans, boots, checked shirt and cowboy hat. The grounds are like a giant fairground – heaps of fried food and drinks, entertainment, stalls and there are famous bands playing (apparently you have to queue to get in). Lots of bars as well. There was also an ice skating rink and about 4 times a day they did a 45 minute Rock n Roll show on skates and featured some of Canada’s Olympic skaters – again fantastic! And it was free. Lots of locals go for the day just to the grounds – without going to the Rodeo or Evening Event.
Tickets: You have to pre purchase a ticket to the Rodeo Event and a separate ticket for the Evening Chucks and Show. Both these tickets will provide entrance to the Ground anytime during the day.
We would really recommend you have 2 full days here, you can cram everything in one day but that makes it really busy. A second day gives you time to explore and enjoy the Stampede grounds at leisure. During the morning there are parades in the city and heaps of other things going on.
The weather can be hot or cold and or wet – so you need to be ready for anything.
This event continues to be a big WOW for our clients and we can recommend it to anyone – you don’t need any interest or knowledge in Rodeo to enjoy it. The commentators are great fun and incredibly good at explaining what is going on. The show is truly amazing.
We completely understand why it is billed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”!