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The Calgary Stampede is a spectacular event, a combination of a rodeo, a festival and an exhibition that has been taking place each year since 1886 in Calgary, within the Canadian province of Alberta. It was started as an exhibition and then became known as a stampede in 1912. In 2012 alone, the event attracted a record one million four hundred thousand plus people, each having bought Calgary Stampede tickets to this spectacular fair and rodeo.
The Calgary Stampede, described as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, is a ten day long festival that attracts more than one million people each year and is home to one of the biggest rodeos in the world. It also plays host to parades, concerts, midway, stage shows, agricultural competitions, First Nations exhibitions and chuckwagon racing. The very first fair, organized in 1886, was held by the District Agricultural Society and the government of Calgary. In 1912, Guy Weadick, a promoter, organized a festival and rodeo labeled the Stampede and then organized it again in 1919 for soldiers who were coming back from World War I.
The two events were then merged to create the Calgary Stampede, then known as the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede. It is organized by a number of civic leaders and volunteers numbering in the thousands, making it one of the largest festivals in Canada. Events such as the chuckwagon racing and rodeo are particularly popular, being televised in places all over Canada and the world. The event has also become synonymous with the city of Calgary, which is dubbed as the Stampede City, with the franchise of the Canadian Football League in the city called the Stampeders.
During the event, the entire city of Calgary is found celebrating. Everywhere, from offices to storefronts, a new atmosphere appears with cowboy themes, many events all over the city and western wear. Food is also served at hundreds of places, particularly barbecues and pancake breakfasts. This is a tradition that traces back to 1923, where businesses were encouraged to use wild west themes, with residents dressing up in that manner. The sport of chuckwagon racing was also introduced and became immensely popular. During the twenties, attendance went over a quarter a million.
The popularity of this event is shown by the fact that over seven movies were filmed at the festival by 1950, including the most famous, a silent film of the same name as the event. It led to much more exposure for the event, attracted Hollywood celebrities and even foreign dignitaries with the likes of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II visiting the event. The Queen would also go on to open the Stampede in 1973.
This is an event that is also known for fabulous concerts, with bands and artists from rock, pop and country music with the likes of The Beach Boys and Garth Brooks having performed here, for all who had bought Calgary Stampede tickets.
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