Is the Calgary Stampede still on for 2020?
No, for the first time in its history, the Calgary Stampede is canceled this year.
We all know the reasons why and though it is a damper on so many annual festivities in Calgary, we thought we would still highlight the Calgary Stampede’s history and relevance to this city.
The first event took place in 1912, however it only last ed 6 days and took place in September, not July. The Calgary Stampede didn't become an annual event until 1923, which is also the first year that chuck-wagons were introduced in the parade. One-hundred-thousand people attended the first Stampede and it only became a 10-day event in 1968. Additionally, in this inaugural event of 1912, the first parade saw over 2000 Aboriginal peoples lead the festivities in full traditional attire.
The Big Four building on the grounds is named after the first Big Four businessmen who contributed $100,000 each to the first event back in 1912. They are A.E. Cross, A.J. MacLean, Pat Burns and George Lane and there are various namesakes found in Calgary after these four men. Without their financial backing for the first Stampede, it would have never happened.
The daily grandstand show became an event in 1964 where the first performers were the Calgary Kidettes who eventually evolved to be called the Young Canadians who are still the headlining performers at the Grand Stand Show annually.
The need to showcase Calgary to ranchers and farmers to encourage them to move west in the late 1800's resulted in fairs and exhibitions taking place over the years. From this display of the 'west' and all these annual exhibitions which were well attended, the Calgary Stampede grew and evolved into existence.
And lastly, the Stampede breakfast. This tradition of city-wide pancake breakfasts has become so synonymous with the Calgary Stampede that there is even an app created to let you know where breakfasts are happening all over Calgary. The first Stampede breakfast took place in 1923, when a chuck-wagon driver named Jack Morton invited loved ones for free pancakes at a camp site very close to the CPR station close to Calgary's downtown. It was such a hit, it became an annual event.
Though the Calgary Stampede is not happening this year, there are still virtual events going on around Calgary, including Stampede Food Truck rallies. Click here to learn more.
Looking for future Calgary Stampede dates? Pencil in July 3-12 for Stampede in 2021. It is sure to be a grand event to make up for 2020.