10 Secrets of the Calgary Stampede

You know the Calgary Stampede as a rip-roaring rodeo, but there’s more to it than steer wrestling and a flashy parade. Check out these little known facts about this iconic Canadian event, which deserves its moniker of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

Coca Cola Stage at Calgary StampedePhoto: Tye Carson/Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is one of Canada’s largest music festivals

Each year during the 10-day festival, more 60 musical acts perform on the grounds of the Calgary Stampede. Add to that the dozens upon dozens of acts that hit Calgary’s National Music Centre and other venues throughout Cowtown, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a music fest. Be sure to check out the Coca-Cola Stage—free with admission to Stampede Park—where acts such as the Barenaked Ladies, Nelly Furtado and Marianas Trench have performed. (Sounds like the perfect playlist for a cross-Canada road trip!)

Eating corn dogs at Calgary StampedePhoto: Tye Carson/Calgary Stampede

Enormous amounts of carnie grub are consumed

From the legendary mini donuts to all things fried-on-a-stick, the Calgary Stampede goes all-out with carnie fare, and the crowds eat it up—literally. In fact, if you laid down all 96,000 of the corn dogs consumed annually end-to-end, that line would stretch for 19 kilometres. In terms of sweets, Stampede-goers scarf back two million mini doughnuts and 50,000 candy apples each year—an estimated 15,000 kilograms of sugar. That’s no bull!

Here are 10 more must-try Canadian dishes—and the best places to find them across the country.

Ferris wheel at the Calgary StampedePhoto: ShutterStock

Millions of dollars are raised for charity

The Calgary Stampede is one of the highest-grossing festivals in all of Canada, but organizers don’t take the money and run. The not-for-profit group that puts on the annual show contributes millions to community charities in addition to the Calgary Stampede Foundation, a registered charity in itself. This foundation invests approximately $3-million annually in youth programs such as The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts, the Calgary Stampede Showband and the Stampede School. Check out 13 more reasons it’s great living in Canada.

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