Stephen Harper, while opening the show, was optimistic that the 2014 Calgary Stampede will be a turning point after last year’s flooding which dampened the whole event.
The 2014 Calgary Stampede would not be complete without the appearance of Hollywood icon William Shatner who as usual was a marshal during the Stampede Parade that kicked off the whole event. Joining him were Canadian Olympians Gilmore Junio and Denny Morrison together with over 4,000 people who will be part of the one hundred and thirty or so entrants.
What is the Calgary Stampede?
The Calgary Stampede is an annual event that takes place in Calgary, Canada. The Calgary Stampede involves rodeo events, parades, concerts, lotteries and firework shows. The 2014 Calgary Stampede will take place on July 4th – 13th and will involve concerts by Shania Twain.
History of the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede can be traced back to the late 1800s when the Agricultural Society started shows that were meant to encourage farmers to immigrate to Western Canada in order to take advantage of the opportunities and develop the economy of the area. As the Agricultural shows grew in stature, more exhibition events were incorporated into the yearly shows. The facilities were improved including the exhibition pavilions and horse racing tracks.
The first stampede was held in 1912 as an offshoot of the successful exhibitions and agricultural shows. The stampede involved cattlemen from Western Canada and the United States and the tradition of dressing up as rodeos evolved from these early shows. The initial success of the first stampede led to its establishment as an annual event after the civic authorities realized its potential as an important cultural event.
Main Events of the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede consists of a number of showcase events that are an annual feature every year. The following are the main events of the Stampede:
· Calgary Stampede Parade: This has traditionally being the opening event of the Stampede and every year there is a different theme depending on current special interests. Local politicians, business leaders and prominent personalities in sports and the arts are given the duty of serving as parade marshals.
· Calgary Stampede Rodeo Event: The rodeo is the main event of the Stampede with a top prize of $1 million for the overall winner and $ 100, 000 for the various categories. The event is divided into ten disciplines that cater for the experts as well as the novice competitors. The disciplines include the bull ride, barrel race, steer wrestling, tie down, saddle bronc, bareback ride and junior events of steer riding, novice bareback, saddle bronc and wild pony racing.
· Calgary Chuck-wagon Derby: This Chuck Wagon race attracts a grand prize of more than $1 million. Officially known as the Rangeland Derby, the race is approximately half a mile long and is reputed to be a very hard race to win.
· Calgary Stampede Exhibition: In line with the Stampede’s origins as an Agricultural Society event, the exhibition is held every year and showcases over one thousand exhibitors of agricultural goods. The exhibition features pedigree breed of horses, cows and dogs, among others. Also featured in the exhibition are many agricultural industry products.
· Calgary Stampede Midway: The concerts have featured many well-known musicians over the years and the 2014 Calgary Concert will be grace by many famous musicians among them Shania Twain whose tickets have already sold out.
· Calgary Stampede Market: Traders in various commodities sell their wares at the Stampede Market every year. Goods offered for sale at the market range from kids’ toys to electric and food items.