Photos of the 2010 Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede midway early in the day before the crowds arrive.

The Calgary Stampede midway early in the day before the crowds arrive.

Lining up before the Heavy Horse Show.

Lining up before the Heavy Horse Show.

One of the hundreds of horses at the Stampede.

One of the hundreds of horses at the Stampede.

An entertainer talking to visitors.

An entertainer talking to visitors.

Heavy Horse Show at the Calgary Stampede.

Heavy Horse Show at the Calgary Stampede.

The score board where the Calgary Flames hockey team plays.

The score board where the Calgary Flames hockey team plays.

Sheep shearing contest.

Sheep shearing contest.

Waiting to be shaved.

Waiting to be shaved.

Blacksmith Competition.

Blacksmith Competition.

The Calgary Tower seen from the Stampede Grounds.

The Calgary Tower seen from the Stampede Grounds.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

That's me taking a mist shower on a very hot day.

That's me taking a mist shower on a very hot day.

Outside the Rodeo Grandstand.

Outside the Rodeo Grandstand.

Calf Roping at the Calgary Stampede.

Calf Roping at the Calgary Stampede.

Bronc riding at the daily rodeo.

Bronc riding at the daily rodeo.

Bronc Rider at the Calgary Stampede

Another Bronc Rider

Indian Village at the Calgary Stampede

Indian Village.

View of the Stampede Grandstand and Downtown Calgary.

View of the Stampede Grandstand and Downtown Calgary.

One of the Entrances to the Stampede.

One of the Entrances to the Stampede.

Free concerts on the Stampede Grounds. We saw Theory of a Deadman

View of the Calgary Tower at night from the grounds.

View of the Calgary Tower at night from the grounds.

Fireworks at the Calgary Stampede

The nightly fireworks display.

One of the many free Stampede Breakfasts around the city.

One of the many free Stampede Breakfasts around the city.

Cowboy police in Calgary during the Stampede.

Cowboy police in Calgary during the Stampede.

Horse rides at a Stampede Breakfast.

Horse rides at a Stampede Breakfast.

People lining up for free pancakes at a Stampede Breakfast.

People lining up for free pancakes at a Stampede Breakfast.


The Calgary Stampede

My home city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada hosts The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede every July. The Stampede begins with a parade through the downtown core and lasts for 10 days. The entire city gets into the cowboy spirit with most businesses decorated with western themes and many people in cowboy garb. There are free pancake breakfasts, beer gardens and country music throughout the city. There are also the world famous rodeo and chuck wagon races held everyday.

July is a great time to visit Calgary because the entire city is in a party mood. There are countless events happening all over the city. The rodeo is one of the largest in the world and is probably a very unique event for most visitors. I would recommend to see it at least once if you have the chance.

In recent years the rodeo has become controversial because of several animal deaths every year. It does seem somewhat barbaric to use animals like this solely for entertainment purposes, however rodeo has a long tradition in the west. I am not sure if that is a valid justification but my wife and I have seen it a couple of times now. It is a lot like bull fighting in Spain. It is definitely inhumane to abuse animals for entertainment or sport but the spectacle is a huge tourist draw.

The typical festival rides and games of chance at the Stampede  are particularly effective at extracting money from Stampede goers. There are also many free concerts, shows and attractions throughout the grounds. This year had a fantastic ice show with performances by Olympic skaters and Cirque du Soleil performers accompanied by a full-stage rock band. There were also dog shows, motorcycle daredevils, the regular hypnotist, countless live animals and of course, several beer gardens.

If you are going to visit Calgary during the summer I would definitely recommend trying to time it with the Calgary Stampede. The city is in a particularly festive mood and you are unlikely to see another event quite like this.

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

5 Responses to Photos of the 2010 Calgary Stampede

  1. Nate says:

    Ok I am definitely going to this some year. It looks like one of those things that isn’t for everybody, but I know I would enjoy it. Thanks for sharing this! Great photos.

    • John says:

      Hey Nate,

      The Stampede is definitely a great time to be in Calgary. You don’t have to go to the grounds to enjoy it either. The entire city is in party mode.

  2. This is really cool! I’ve never heard of it, but it looks like crossing Ft. Worth with Seattle. Ft. Worth in Texas doesn’t have an official festival but it’s a bit Western all year round. For example, they have a rodeo, various Western themed museums and pieces of the historic stockyards right outside downtown. There’s even a twice daily mini cattle drive.
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Exploring Uruguay =-.

  3. […] Photos of the 2010 Calgary Stampede – John has over 20 stunning photos of this annual cowboy festival. During the Stampede, […]

  4. Hi John, I just wanted you to know I featured your Stampede pics on my blog.
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Live Richly Round Up 4 =-.

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