Join Us At...
Contact Us
54k 13.5k 10.2k 11.8k
RE/MAX House of Real Estate - #4034 16th Street SW, Calgary, AB, T2T-4H4

Main Content

23 Things You Didn’t Know About the Calgary Stampede

  • June 10, 2023
  • By Cody Battershill


23 Things You Didn’t Know About the Stampede

It's about mid-June when most Calgarians start thinking seriously about what they are wearing to Stampede.

While you may have picked out a few different wardrobes by now, there are quite a few things you still may not know about the world's "greatest outdoor show on earth."

So, here are several interesting facts that you probably didn't know about the Calgary Stampede. Also see:

#1 - Most Visitors are Local

Approximately 70% of people who go to the Stampede every year live in the Calgary Metropolitan Area (CMA).

#2 - Stampede Founder Ejected

Guy Weadick, the founding father of the Stampede, ran the show for 20 years until 1932 when a legal dispute ended up in him being relieved from his duties - permanently.

In 1952 Guy was invited back as an honorary guest and parade marshall.

#3 - Where the "Big Four" Came From

The Big Four Building at the Stampede Grounds is named in memory of A.J. MacLean, A.E. Cross, George Lane and Pat Burns, four business magnates who together contributed $100,000 towards making the first show a reality.

Today there are four public schools in Calgary named after these very important men who would have a lasting mark on our city's culture.

#4 - Stampede Park is Big

The Stampede Park is roughly over 200 acres (809,371 square meters) in size. That's about:

  • Two-fifths as big as Monaco
  • One and one-fifths the size of Disneyland
  • One and four-fifths the size of the Vatican City
  • Two times as big as The Mall of America
  • Four times as big as Grand Central Station
  • Six times as big as The Pentagon
  • Eleven times as big as Buckingham Palace

#5 - Annual Park Visitors

Stampede Park sees more than 4 million cumulative visitors every year, over 1.2 million of whom attend the Stampede during its 10 days.

#6 - Daily Park Visitors


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Calgary Stampede (@calgarystampede)

Over 120,000 people visit the Calgary Stampede daily, making the Stampede Grounds the third-largest city by population in the province of Alberta

#7 - Eat Free Breakfast

Do a little bit of reading online and in newspapers and you’ll be able to eat free breakfast every day of the show.

That’s ten days of free pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit juices and other tasty breakfast foods, often cooked by volunteers!

#8 - Free App for Breakfasts

There is a smartphone application or “app” you can download called Flapjack Finder that shows you where all of Calgary’s free Stampede breakfasts are every day.

#9 - New Foods Every Year

In 2023, the Stampede Midway is home to 50 new foods for all to try, plus many returning favourites from years prior.

Every year there are countless new types of foods at the show ranging from frog legs to perogies to poutines to insects and more.

#10 - Animals Get Posh Treatment

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

#11 - Birth Rates in April

Calgary’s birth rates typically jump in April every year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that about nine months after the Stampede?

#12 - A Class for Stampede

The University of Calgary actually has a credit course - CNST 451 - for undergraduates to do with the Calgary Stampede.

#13 - Casino Coins

The Stampede Casino needs approximately six tonnes of coins to be able to open during the show.

#14 - Spend Thrifty Locals

According to a poll taken in 2011, 40% of locals who were sure they would visit the grounds expected to spend anywhere from $150 to $400.

Today in 2023, surely the "daily spend" of the average Stampede goer has undoubtedly gone up due to inflation and other factors involved.

#15 - Movies Galore

By the time 1950 came around, seven movie productions had already filmed certain scenes at the Stampede.

#16 - It Was Shorter Before

It wasn’t until 1968 that the Calgary Stampede became a 10-day event.

#17 - Donuts Galore

Over 2 million mini-donuts are consumed every year at the show.

#18 - Rides Galore


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Calgary Stampede (@calgarystampede)

The midway at the grounds is host to more than 60 different rides, with options for all ages.

#19 - Games Galore

The midway at the grounds is host to about 80 different games as of 2014.

Today there's about the same number but with changes coming to the grounds there's even more to come soon.

#20 - Donations Galore

Every year, about 4,000 to 5,000 stuffed dolls are collected at the ground exits annually and are donated to children in need abroad.

#21 - Ride'em Cowboy

You would travel about 2,163 kilometres if you rode every ride of the Polar Express (overhead gondola ride) every day of the Stampede.

#22 - Lights Galore

Approximately 156,000 lights adorn the rides at the Stampede Midway (2014).

#23 - Fireworks Galore

Every night near closing time, a stunning array of fireworks are launched to celebrate the day!

Join Us

Calgary Stampede Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Banner

Looking for more information on local activities, events and other things to do with Calgary? See anything and everything related to our awesome city and join us today at Calgaryism on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – we hope to see you there!