Riders in the arena flying the Calgary Stampede flag in 2013 photo. the 2017 edition of this huge international event starts officially today

Riders in the arena flying the Calgary Stampede flag in 2013 photo. The 2017 edition of this huge international event starts officially today
Photo Credit: Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press

The greatest outdoor show on Earth! On now!

The Stampede is on!

Arguably Canada’s greatest entertainment event is on this week in the western city of Calgary, Alberta

Many thousands of people lined up on Friday for the event opening Calgary Stampede parade in downtown Calgary
Many thousands of people lined up on Friday for the event opening Calgary Stampede parade in downtown Calgary © Calgary Stampede/via CBC

The annual event ostensibly promoted as a celebration of “western” culture, features just about everything you can imagine in family entertainment.

From the people that he’s met, including other rodeo athletes and the prize money he’s won, the Calgary Stampede has changed every aspect of Canadian rider Zeke Thurston’s life. The Calgary Stampede features one of the world’s biggest an d most important rodeo venues.
From the people that he’s met, including other rodeo athletes and the prize money he’s won, the Calgary Stampede has changed every aspect of Canadian rider Zeke Thurston’s life. The Calgary Stampede features one of the world’s biggest an d most important rodeo venues. © via CBC Sports

The event is expected to attract a million visitors over its ten day span from today July 7th, to July 16th.

An incredible variety of shows from *canine stars* to motorcycle acrobatic.
An incredible variety of shows from *canine stars* to motorcycle acrobatic. © Calgary Stampede

It begins unofficially the day before with a pancake breakfast, always attended by a vast crowd.

 Farming and tractors go hand-in-hand. One of the many dozens of western-themed events is the vintage tractor pull. There are also heavy horse pulls, blacksmith and sheep shearing competitions, and much more
Farming and tractors go hand-in-hand. One of the many dozens of western-themed events is the vintage tractor pull. There are also heavy horse pulls, blacksmith and sheep shearing competitions, and much more © Calgary Stampede

The huge international event features dozens of rodeo events, indeed it is one of the most important rodeo competitions in the world.

The Treaty 7 Chiefs will lead this year’s Calgary Stampede parade. From left to right: Coun. Floyd Big Head (representing Chief Roy Fox), Lowa Beeba (representing Chief Stanley Grier), Bradford Little Chief (representing Chief Joseph Weasel Child), Chief Darcy Dickson, Chief Lee Crowchild and Chief Aaron Young. Not pictured is Chief Ernest Wesley. First Nations culture and traditions are featured attractions during the Stampede.
The Treaty 7 Chiefs will lead this year’s Calgary Stampede parade. From left to right: Coun. Floyd Big Head (representing Chief Roy Fox), Lowa Beeba (representing Chief Stanley Grier), Bradford Little Chief (representing Chief Joseph Weasel Child), Chief Darcy Dickson, Chief Lee Crowchild and Chief Aaron Young. Not pictured is Chief Ernest Wesley. First Nations culture and traditions are featured attractions during the Stampede. © Dan McGarvey/CBC

Other farming skills competitions include blacksmith and sheep shearing, baking, leather making skills, livestock penning, and many more

Livestock auctions are an important aspect of western life, and the Stampede hosts an international competition to determine an auctioneering champion.
Livestock auctions are an important aspect of western life, and the Stampede hosts an international competition to determine an auctioneering champion. © Calgary Stampede

Of course there’s a huge midway with rides, a variety of foods from Canadian tradition, and those of the many cultures brought by immigrants, and music of all types, with a slight emphasis on country and western styles.

Topping if off, the weather for this opening day is going to be sunny and hot, indeed very hot at around 30 degrees, all the more reason to wear shady “cowboy hats” (which are always a big seller at the many boutiques throughout the grounds.

CBC pancake breakfast

Additional information

Calgary Stampede website

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