Top 5 things to do & see at the Calgary Stampede

Bareback riding at the 2008 Calgary Stampede. Photo by 'LesPaulSupreme' on Flickr.comBest known as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth no to mention the largest outdoor rodeo in the world, the famous Calgary Stampede takes place from July 9 to 18, 2010 at the Stampede Grounds in Calgary, Alberta. 

The Calgary Stampede was first held in 1912 with the hopes that it would one bring together the best cowboys from North America to one place.  There’s something that keeps bringing thousands of people back – so has put together 5 Top Things to Do & See at the Calgary Stampede.

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Top 5 Things to Do at the Calgary Stampede

Watch a Grandstand Show: The Grandstand Show is the place to be every night with its bright lights and incredible concerts and entertainment.  This year, catch singer Eva Avila performing as well as Ta’Rea Campbell, one of Broadway’s hottest stars; acrobatics and artistry from the Troupe Barre Russe of Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam; the Booming Tree Japanese Taiko Drummers who will drum while flying through the air; and the Calgary Stampede Extreme Dream Team who will perform the most extreme of dirt bike stunts. 

Visit the Nashville North music tent that showcases up-and-coming country singers and bands on the stages of the Calgary Stampede – for many, this is their big break.  Free with admission to the festival, you’ll no doubt get your feet stomping from the music of new artists like Deric Ruttan, the Kentucky Headhunters, Aaron Lines, Jimmy Wayne, and Gord Bamford. 

Watch Classic Rodeo Events: The biggest attraction of the Stampede are its Rodeo events, celebrating that pure cowboy spirit. The rodeo events include: bareback, bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and many more.  There’s also the very popular Chuckwagon Race, also known as the GMC Rangeland Derby: with 36 drivers, 288 horses and over $1.15 million in prize money, it’s also one of the most dangerous events at the Stampede.  Four horses are hitched to a chuckwagon, raced through a barrel obstacles course, with four “outriders” who must set up camp (poles, a tent and stove) to finish the race and win.

Corndog at the Calgary Stampede. Photo by 'andreelau' on Flickr.comEat Midway Food: You can’t go wrong with outrageous carnival foods at the Calgary Stampede Midway, where you can get anything “deep-fried” or “on-a-stick” like deep-friend dill pickles, deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried jelly beans, deep-fried strawberry shortcake; as well as pizza on a stick, cheese on a stick, pizza on a stick, alligator pizza, hot beef sundaes, taco in a bag, mini donuts, corn dogs, or the most delicious-sounding of them all: pork parfait.  

Farm & Livestock Activities: Watch to see how fast a sheep-shearer can give a sheep a haircut. See how quickly a team of three riders can sort and mark their livestock in just one minute. Look on while the World Championship Blacksmith Competition, known as the “Olympics of Blacksmithing,” takes place and the skills of these master craftsmen are tested. Take a Farm Tour that takes you behind the scenes of Alberta’s local farmers and producers’ day-to-day activities and techniques. Try milking a cow for yourself or let the kids have some fun by trying their hand at the Kids Pedal Tractor Pull event.

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Photos by LesPaulSupreme and are you gonna eat that on / Creative Commons.

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