The Famous Calgary Stampede

Considering that Albertans refer to Calgary as "Cowtown" it should come as no surprise that one of the biggest events held in the city each year is the "Calgary Stampede". As you'd expect from a bunch of humble cowboys and ranchers the stampede is modestly referred to as the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", and it quite literally is exactly this.

The Stampede offers visitors and current residents of Calgary 10 days of fun during July of each year and is one of the biggest events on the Calgary social calendar. As you might expect when something is billed as the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" it's bound to attract a lot of visitors and more than 1,000,000 (1 million) guests come to enjoy the Stampede each year; injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the Albertan economy as a result.

What's really neat about the Stampede (well one of the many neat things) is that the whole city gets involved and local businesses and stores even paint their exterior walls in cowboy themes and pretty much all the residents of the city put on their best western gear and get into the spirit of things. What you're basically looking at with the Calgary Stampede is an enormous celebration of western culture spanning 10 days which starts with pancake breakfasts each day and finishes with rodeos, concerts, racing, tractor pulls, stage shows and barbecues each evening.

The Stampede caters for visitors of all ages and tastes and if you don't like rodeos there are dozens of beer gardens, ice-cream parlors and even 400+ Vegas-style slot machines for you to enjoy. On top of that you also have the nightly Transalta Grandstand Show and the ever-popular Superdogs show - if you like dogs you're going to love these guys. Last but by no means least is the Stampede Parade, which is used to launch the Calgary Stampede itself - the parade being an essential item on your "must-see" list.

If you're even remotely interested in Western culture and pageantry then you're going to love the Calgary Stampede.

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