The Stampede has always been on my bucket list. I've heard from countless friends that it's something that has to be on your bucket list. The Calgary Stampede claims to be "The Greatest Show on Earth". Did it live up to all the hype? Check out my photos and story below.
So this trip had been planned for months, the plan was to stay with a buddy of mine from University. Two weeks before we were supposed to leave for YYZ I get a message that he had accepted the opportunity to continue his education back in London, Ontario. That meant that I would now be staying with his roommate (who i've never met) for the weekend. Needless to say i was a little hesitant but our host was extremely gracious. We arrived, on Thursday morning to rain in Calgary (and rain the entire trip). Jordan's place was directly across from the Stampede grounds, putting us as close to the action as possible.
The first night was spent taking in some live music by Mother Mother and checking out the fairgrounds, nothing too crazy.
On Friday we went to the Rodeo which was by far my favourite event of the Stampede. We got to see bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie down roping, saddle bronc and bareback riding. The bareback riding and bull riding were by far the most impressive. The power and strength that the horses and bulls exhibit are awe-inspiring and the ability to hold on to these animals is absolutely crazy. I thoroughly enjoyed the Rodeo and would highly recommend it to anyone attending the Stampede, it's a must see. That night we headed over to Nashville North which is one of the tents on the Stampede grounds. They have live bands and an overall great country feel.
We finished the night by watching the fireworks from the apartment balcony.
The next day was pretty low key but we spent the evening attending the Chuck wagon show which was another great time. If you're going to the Stampede make sure you get tickets to the Rodeo and the Chuck Wagons as these two events are the cornerstones of the festival.
On my last day in Calgary I convinced our host to take us out to Canmore, Alberta. There is no better feeling that driving into the Rocky Mountains. The size and beauty of this mountain range is incomparable and I absolutely love being there. I just wish I could have spent more time, we were only out there for a couple of hours and I really should have spent a couple of days.
All in all I would highly suggest you check out the Calgary Stampede for yourself. The people of Calgary are lovely and would love to have you. The scenery is absolutely stunning and the event itself is something you've probably never seen before. I hope I get back soon,