Stampede Fun Facts

Stampede season is in full swing! We hope that the rain has not dampened your spirits at all and that you take time to celebrate and go have fun. Nothing kicks off a great summer in YYC quite like the Stampede. By now, most people know the basics about the Stampede: it’s called the largest outdoor show on earth, there is a rodeo where you can win big money, the midway is full of quirky food, etc.. However, here are some interesting facts about the Calgary Stampede that you may not know:

Crash Landing: “During the 1919 Stampede, the revelers of Calgary had their midway fun suddenly interrupted by the expected emergency landing of a Curtis Jenny biplane on top of the midway carousel” (Flight Network). Luckily no one was injured and the show went on unencumbered!

Baby-Maker: Apparently the Calgary Stampede makes people feel the love, because the birth rate in Calgary spikes around the month of April, which is exactly nine months after the Stampede Flight Network).

Mega-Doughnuts: Over 2 MILLION Mini-Doughnuts are consumed each year at the Stampede!

The First Pancake Breakfast: “In 1923, the first free Stampede breakfast was held at a campsite just outside the Canadian Pacific Railway station close to downtown Calgary. Jack Morton, a chuck wagon driver, invited his loved ones and visitors to enjoy free pancakes at the camp” (HuffPost). Now over 200,000 pancakes are made each year, and apps like Flapjack Finder will help you find them.

Economy Boost: The Calgary Stampede is great for Calgary’s economy. Statistics show that “for every $1 that is spent within the Stampede grounds, another $2.65 is spent by visitors in the city of Calgary, on hotel rooms, taxis and other tourist expenses” (Flight Network). That is a significant amount of money when you consider that the event attracts over 1.2 million attendees!

Boys Club: Did you know women are not allowed to compete in some of the Stampede events? HuffPost reports, “women were allowed to compete in fancy roping, bronc riding and trick riding in the first Stampede. Today they can only compete in barrel racing.” What’s the deal, Calgary! 

Class Field-trip: “In the year 2012, the University of Calgary offered an actual official credit course on the Calgary Stampede. The course covered the history and the cultural significance of the festival and some of the lectures were held on the Stampede grounds” (Flight Network). Did they get extra credit for eating mini-doughnuts?

Animal Friendly: Despite the rumours, the Calgary Stampede is very animal friendly. In fact, “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” (Best Calgary Homes). The animals that compete LOVE what they do and are treated like royalty. Even the bucking bulls live well: they compete for all of 3 seconds and then spend the rest of their year on a beautiful acreage living the dream.

Did we miss any fun facts? Let us know in the comments below!

(Image Created With Canva)

Posted by Ken Richter on


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