21 Things You Didn’t Know About the Stampede
Most of us who have been living in Calgary for at least a little while know to get out our cowboy gear and some extra cash from bank when the Stampede comes around. The number of things to do in the city in early to mid July seem to multiply exponentially in just a few short days.
While it is easy to get caught up in the fun festivities at the Calgary Stampede, there are tons of very interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about the “greatest outdoor show on Earth.”
#1 – Approximately 70 percent of people who go to the show every year are from Calgary
#2 – Guy Weadick, the founding father of the Stampede, ran the show for 20 years until 1932 when a legal dispute ended up in him being relieved from his duties – permanently. However, in 1952 he was invited back as an honorary guest and parade marshal
#3 – The Big Four Building at the Stampede Grounds is named in memory of A.J. MacLean, A.E. Cross, George Lane and Pat Burns, four businessmen who contributed $100,000 towards the first show to make it a reality. Today there are also four public schools in our city named after these very important men
#4 – Stampede Park is over 200 acres in size and has more than 3.5 million visitors every year, more than a million of whom attend the Stampede during its 10 days
#5 – On a daily basis, over 120,000 people visit the Calgary Stampede, making the “Stampede Grounds” the third largest city by population in the province of Alberta
#6 – Do a little bit of reading via newspapers and online and you’ll be able to eat free breakfast every day of the show. That’s 10 days of free pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit juices and other tasty breakfast foods
#7 – There’s actually an application or “app” you can download onto your smartphone called Flapjack Finder that shows you where all of Calgary’s free Stampede breakfasts are every day
#8 – Every year there are new types of foods at the show. While the traditional favourites like pizza, corn-dogs and hamburgers remain, new treats like deep fried cheezies and bacon-wrapped pork bellies keep us coming back for more
#9 – Animals participating in the rodeo are given daily veterinarian checks and are removed from the event if they are found to be harmed in any way
#10 – Calgary’s birth rates typically jump in April every year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that nine months after the Stampede?
#11 – The University of Calgary actually has a credit course – CNST 451 – for undergraduates to do with the Calgary Stampede
#12 – The Stampede Casino needs approximately 6 tonnes of coins to be able to open during the show
#13 – According to a poll taken in 2011, 40 percent of locals who were sure they would visit the grounds expected to spend anywhere from $150 to $400
#14 – By the time 1950 came around, seven movie productions had already filmed certain scenes at the Stampede
#15 – It wasn’t until 1968 when the Calgary Stampede became a 10 day event
#16 – Over 2 million mini-donuts are consumed every year at the show
#17 – The midway at the grounds is host to about 60 different rides as of 2014. In 2017, the “Zipper”, a long-time favourite at the grounds was retired
#18 – The midway at the grounds is host to about 80 different games as of 2014. Today, there’s about the same number but with changes coming to the grounds, that’s expected to rise in the near future.
#19 – Every year, about 4,000 to 5,000 stuffed dolls are collected at the ground exits annually and are donated to children in the Ukraine (2014)
#20 – You would travel about 2,163 kilometres if you rode every ride of the Polar Express every day of the stampede
#21 – Approximately 156,000 lights adorn the rides at the midway (2014)
Do you love the Stampede like I do? Check out more great articles on the greatest outdoor show on Earth today!
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