Along with its vibrant urban centre and surrounding prairie landscapes, Calgary, Canada gives you a chance to experience ‘The Greatest Show on Earth' — The Calgary Stampede. This world-famous rodeo event attracts people from all over the world. Every July, this summer tradition transforms the usually modern city into an incredible fair, celebrating music and art, cowboy culture, rodeo and Western heritage and culture. The official dates for the 2024 Calgary Stampede are from the 5th to the 14th of July. The iconic stampede parade will kickstart the festival on July 7, led by Jeremy Hansen.
The local travel experts at Canadian Train Vacations specialize in creating personalized trips to Canada. Many of our most popular itineraries tour the Canadian Rockies and include time in Calgary. We can help you plan your trip to coincide with the Stampede.
This guide gives you everything you need to know about Calgary Stampede 2024, including venue, various events such as rodeos, how to plan a trip to Calgary Stampede, and more.
History of the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede is an annual exhibition, rodeo and festival held every July in the City of Calgary, Alberta Canada. The event prides itself in being ‘The Greatest Show on Earth". History of the Calgary Stampedes dates back to 1886. This was the first time the Calgary and the District Agricultural Show organized a fair. Later in 1912, Guy Weadick, an American Promoter, planned the Stampede, his first rodeo and festival. He organized another fair in 1919 in respect of the soldiers who made it back from World War 1.
In 1923 this festival merged with the Calvary Industrial Exhibition creating the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. This event was held yearly and has been hitting milestone with every festival. Today, this has grown into on for the largest festival in Canada and a major tourist attraction in the city. Chuckwagon and rodeo racing are widely televised across the nation.
Every year, ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth' attracts up to one million visitors and features the largest rodeos worldwide, stage shows, a parade, midway, concerts, chuckwagon racing, agricultural competition and more.
The World's Largest Outdoor Rodeo Event
The world's largest outdoor rodeo event is famous for its incredible cowboy scene with professional cowboys and cowgirls from across the world. The 10-day event boasts a wide range of fun fairs, food trucks, cowboy boots, and rodeos among other exemplary western-style themes. The rodeo events feature professional competitors and numerous events including bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bareback riding, saddle bronc and wild pony racing.
Besides activities such as bull riding that captivate massive crowds of up to 200,000 tourists, the Calgary Stampede is a source of entertainment, and mostly, incredible shows such as the TransAlta Grandstand Show that features everything including acrobatics, singing and fireworks. On The other hand, the Bell Adrenaline Ranch is the home of daring athletes who wow visitors with their death-defying stunts.
Do not forget to visit the Coca-Cola stage and enjoy beautiful music shows featuring top shows within the nation. Other activities you can indulge in on your next visit to the Calgary Stampede include:
- Being part of the Stampede talent search
- Experience fun and thrill at the Midway
- Explore the Western Oasis and experience the real cowboy vibe
- Explore the Indian Village and experience the culture of the First Nation's people
- Take a barn tour and experience real farm life
Events at the Rodeo
Whether you are visiting the Calgary Stampede for the first time or you are a seasoned Stampede fan, there is always something to look up to at the largest rodeo festival in the world. The six main rodeo events of the rodeo include:
- Bull riding: This is where the most daring cowboys compete to ride a bull for at least eight seconds. The cowbot and the bull are scored individually based on their prowess after which the average is taken. While this might seem quite rough, there are almost no injuries. You will love how entertaining this is and find yourself demanding a re-ride, like the rest of the crowd.
- Tie-Down roping: Here, a cowboy riding his horse is expected to lasso with masso with a moving calf. He will then jump off the horse, grab the calf and pin him to the ground, then tie his three legs together. The rider who does this the fastest is announced as the winner.
- Steer Wrestling: While riding his horse, a rider chases a wild steer then hops off the horse, twists its horns and wrestles it to the ground. The rider that manages to do that the quickest becomes the winner.
- Ladies Barrel Racing: In this race, women compete by riding their horses around a triangle featuring three barrels. The goal is to make quick tight circles around each barrel and complete the course. Usually, the winner should be able to do it in 17 to 20 seconds.
- Bareback riding: This is the same as bull riding but with a horse.
- Saddle Bronco: This race tests the rhythm between a rider and their horse. The goal is to ride a bucking horse for at least eight seconds. The animal has a regulation saddle equipped with a six-foot braided rein attachment and stirrups making it easy to halter and hold single-handedly.
This is one of the best events you have ever visited hands down. Brace yourself to experience the real competition and thrill of professional cowboys and cowgirls from across the globe. What more? There is something for everyone. Children and contestants below 21 years old can enjoy Novice events such as Novice Saddle Bronc. You can also register them for the children's calf and sheep riding events for the ultimate fun.
2024 Stampede Events and Attractions
The Greatest Show on Earth will be even bigger and better in 2024. To begin with, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is bringing back its action-filled shows: AEW: Rampage and AEW: Dynamite to the Saddledom. This happens in July 2024 and will feature all your favourite male and female wrestlers including Kenny Omega, Adam Copeland, Chris Jericho, Thunder Rosa, and Miro among others. You will also be delighted to see Motley Crue at the next Calgary Stampede on July 11th, 2024.
The Saints of Los Angeles featuring Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee have domineered the rock pantheon for over four decades now. The Calgary Stampede 2024 also introduces the 2024 Stampede poster artwork, a masterpiece designed by 22-year-old Lloyd Templeton.
In the spirit of history and cultural pride, the Calgary Stampede 2024 introduces Margaret Holloway, the First Nation's princess. You will also get to meet Brook Fielding, the 2024 Calgary Stampede princess.
Calgary Stampede Venue and Ticket Prices
So you want to experience the joy, fun, laughter and thrill in the Calgary Stampede 2024? Here is everything you need to know about the venue, how to get there, how to get your ticket and everything in between.
Where is the Stampede Park?
Stampede Park, home to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, is conveniently located along Macleod Trail, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Being central makes it easy for visitors to take advantage of both private and public transportation modes all year round. Additionally, Public parking is available at the North of BMO Centre and North of Stampede Park.
However, the parking is reserved for visitors who choose to drive. However, the parking fee might be quite expensive and sometimes, there are no parking spots available. You might therefore want to use other modes of transport such as biking, taking the Calgary train or walking to the Stampede Park.
The popularity of the Calgary Stampede has increased through the years. If you are ready for your own visit, you can purchase the Calgary Stampede general stamped admission ticket at any of the three park entrances. The available ticket options include:
- General for visitors between 13-64 years
- Seniors above 65 years- $15
- Child tickets for visitors between 7 to 12 years - $14
- Sneak-a-Peak ticket- $11
Children under seven years are allowed in free of charge. For a seamless experience, be sure to purchase your Rodeo, Saddledome Show, Buck the Line and Evening Show in advance. These tickets are inclusive of admission tickets to the park. Note that passes and tickets among other entitlements are non-transferable, non-refundable, non-exchangeable, void and revocable if altered, lost or fraudulent.
Attending the Calgary Stampede
Besides a rodeo heaven, Calgary Stampede is a carnival, arts and music, and foodies paradise. It is no surprise that it attracts millions of visitors from across the world.
Popularity Among International Visitors
In July 2023, the Calgary Stampede attracted up to 1.3 million visitors from all around the world breaking the record of the largest event in history. Besides its reputation as the largest outdoor rodeo in the world, the Calgary Stampede boasts a unique Western heritage and a warm, community heritage. Sure, the welcoming Western warmth and hospitality is present year-round.
However, it comes out in fall force during the World's biggest outdoor show. The ability to attract millions of international visitors from across the world has made Calgary Canada's ultimate host city and home to state-of-the-art venues, restaurants and iconic sports franchises.
Planning a Road Trip to the Calgary Stampede
If you are wondering the best time to plan a road trip to Calgary Stampede for the ultimate experience, the simple answer is July. This time, the stampede vibe has already taken over the region and consumed it with incredible music, food, art, warm hospitality and Western dressing style in every corner.
Be sure to attend the magnificent Calgary Stampede Parade, where everything begins. Presented by Suncor, the Stampede Parade is a significant part of Calgary's cultural identity. This is the only way to experience the grand opening and official kickstart of Calgary Stampede, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Besides the majestic horses, bands in colourful coats and high-end machine bands, you will experience the real march of tradition, culture and Calgary's rich history.
The major accessing avenues include 9 Avenue at: Centre Street, 2 Street S.W., 6 Street S.W. and 9 Street S.W. and 6 Avenue at 1 Street S.E., 2 Street S.W., 6 Street S.W. and 9 Street S.W.
Community Spirit and Profit Community Organization
Generally, the Calgary Stampede is a non-profit community organization that aims to promote and preserve the rich Western heritage and culture and a warm, united community. It boasts over 2500 volunteers dedicated to embodying Western values by organizing and hosting events across the city.
The Impact of the Calgary Stampede on Local Communities
Since its inception, Calgary Stampede has continuously promoted the spirit of togetherness. It is one of the richest festivals and tourist attractions in the world, planned, hosted and supported by thousands of civic leaders and volunteers. This festival exists for the good of the local community. That is why proceeds from the fair are reinvested into education, youth programs, environmental initiatives, facilities, culture and year-round programming.
Besides, according to the conference board, the economic impact of stampede-related activities is approximately $540 for the overall provincial economy. The Calgary Stampede is responsible for approximately $282.5 of the total.
This is thanks to the wide range of businesses, community, sporting and hospitality events held during the festival. The Calgary Stampede has formed strong partnerships with companies such as:
- Alberta Boots
The Calgary Stampede is much more than just a rodeo festival — it is a chance for you to join the rest of the world as they live, learn and experience this unique cultural event.
Be sure to visit and experience the adventure of the world's largest rodeo, its rich history and traditions, and the warm community. Join the one million visitors from across the globe and be part of the Greatest Show on Earth.
#1 Travel Tip: Make breakfast part of the plan
From pancake breakfast fundraisers to Drag Brunch, the first meal of the day is an important part of the Calgary Stampede tradition. Each offers a unique experience, plus you’ll be set up for your long day of adventure.
#2 Travel Tip: Get ready to dance
Bring your dancing shoes — or cowboy boots. Calgary has some great country bars, plus the stampede hosts several hoe-downs and line-dancing events. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner, as learning is part of the fun.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there special events at the Calgary Stampede for families with children?
Yes, the Calgary Stampede is open for visitors of all ages. There are rides and games for children as well as adrenaline junkies. There are also numerous shows, exhibits and entertainers that kids will love.
Does the Calgary Stampede have a pet or animal policy for attendees bringing their pets?
While Calgary Stampede permits registered service animals into the park, they are unable to accommodate your pets and advise you to leave them at home or find a kennel to house them.
What type of weather should I expect at the Calgary Stampede?
Generally, the day might be quite humid with an average humidity of up to 70%. The temperature might spike up to 33°C (91.4°F) in the early afternoon. The events do proceed, rain or shine.
What should I wear at the Calgary Stampede?
Usually, visitors of the Calgary Stampede dress in western-themed clothing elements featuring boots, hats and plaid shirts. While Canadian tuxedos are quite common — denim head to toe — you might want to go the extra mile and show your bold personality with a full stampede attire. Above all, be comfortable and have fun.
About the author: Katherine is Product Manager with Fresh Tracks Canada. Having worked in the Canadian travel industry for almost 20 years, she enjoys sharing her local expertise with visitors. She is based in Calgary and one of her favourite Canadian destination is the... Read more