Calgary Stampede – cowboys, cooking, craziness & a lot of fun.
As a local, I often get asked about the Calgary Stampede. Is it worth a visit? Is it fun? Is it safe for kids? I don’t like rodeos, is there more to it than that? Are there ways to save money? The simple answer is yes. But pictures are worth a 1000 words, so I went back through my Stampede collections, and gathered some highlights.
One of my favourite zones on the grounds is the Western Oasis – a showcase of talented crafters, artists, and musicians. Over 500 entrants compete annually for bragging rights in a variety of categories. Quilting, baking and the photography exhibits always catch my eye.
Out on the colourful midway, there are rides & games galore – a bit pricey for my taste, but I always have to ‘whack-a-mole’, and my teenaged son loves the shooting – whether it’s water pistols or pellet rifles.
And what would a midway be without food? Not known for ‘healthy choices’ (although they’ve improved on that over the years), it seems the wackier, the better. Yes, you can still get traditional candy apples, cotton candy and corn dogs – but perhaps it’s one time of year where you’d like to try something different. This year’s fare includes Scorpion Pizza, Crocodile Sliders and Chocolate Dipped Cookie Dough on a stick.
The grandstand show and various events around town showcase some amazing talent from singing, dancing and acrobatics, to colourful costumes and agility dogs.
And last, but not least, yes, there are cowboys, and some pretty awesome rodeo athletes. These guys could teach the FIFA soccer players a few things about getting up and walking away after bone jarring crashes to the ground! The rodeo is not for everyone – but having grown up around animals, both domestic and rural, I can tell you the Stampede has some of the finest livestock out there, and the care they receive is second to none!
So, if you’ve ever contemplated coming out to Calgary in July for a visit, add the Stampede to your list of ‘must do’s’. And here are some handy deals for reduced price admission. It starts tomorrow! Hope to see you there – but 2015 would work great too!