Now is the time to book your ticket to the world-renowned Calgary Stampede, the place where hides are raw, hearts untamed, and the world’s toughest rodeo stock walk on two legs.
From 6 – 15 July 2018 thousands of Aussies will flock to Alberta, Canada, donning cowboy/cowgirl boots and feasting on the Stampede’s infamous carnival fare. Here’s an insider’s list of need-to-know Stampede facts for first-timers.
1. The calibre of a rodeo comes down to two things: the skill of the competitors and the quality of the horses, bulls and steers. Every afternoon at 1:15 cowboys and cowgirls face off at the Stampede Rodeo in a furious display of skill and grit, with every win building towards Showdown Sunday.
2. A prize pool of over two million dollars makes Calgary Stampede the world’s richest tournament-style rodeo.
3. Contestants at the Calgary Stampede compete in bareback, bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, and down-roping, as the action culminates with the GMC Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon event and spectacular fire-works displays.
4. The Calgary Stampede is as much about the music as it is about rodeo. Previous line-ups included Alessia Cara, Nelly Furtado, Ben Harper, KISS, and the Dixie Chicks. This year’s line-up will be announced next month.
5. The quirky food of the Calgary Stampede is almost as famous as the western extravaganza itself. Imagine Cookie Dough-ne, raw cookie dough in a waffle cone complete with sprinkles and a made-to-order Stampede Halo (fairy floss), and Butter Chicken Bear Balls, golden deep-fried balls smothered in a delicious butter chicken sauce, sprinkled with fresh coriander, and topped with a candy-coated anise.
6. Located in the heart of Calgary, Alberta, minutes from the downtown hotels, and just one hour from Banff and the Rocky Mountains, Calgary Stampede is a must-stop attraction on Canada’s summer events calendar. Click here to see rodeo highlights from 2017.
Air Canada offers daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane, with connecting flights to Calgary. Additionally, Air Canada will commence year-round direct flights from Melbourne to Vancouver from June 2018. Direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are also available on Qantas.