The largest cowboy rodeo event in North America takes place the first two weeks in. This year was the fiftieth anniversary of the giant cowboy and cowgirl gathering and they celebrated in style.
Although somewhat commercial, the competitive events were fun and exciting. Some 150,000 people attend these annual celebrations – a series of competitive rodeo events over the two week period. Everything from calf roping to bull riding and chuck wagon races. We went twice in two days and enjoy the spectacle and excitement – people come from all over Canada and the US but it’s a decidedly Alberta event!
Calgary was a fun city to visit – torn between its horse and cattle past – and its bright skyscraper future. Tall towers like the Calgary Tower belie it’s small town cowpoke personality. There is also a strong First Nation heritage here as well and we visited the Glenbow museum – a delightful experience – in addition to artworks and precious gems exhibit there were several First Nation historic elements that gave us a great foundation for understanding Canada’s relationship with its many original tribal people.
The Alberta First Nation tribal representatives also play a role in the Calgary Stampede and various racing events they suggested are now part of the annual proceedings. We enjoyed the bareback relay in particular.
It was unusually hot and humid while we were there – in the 90s Fahrenheit or high 30s Celsius and the locals were not comfortable,e – us Floridians loved it, and it turned out to be one of the last sunny and warm experiences we had during the long summer.
One of our first nights in Alberta offered us this gorgeous sunset.
Along the route to Calgary we stopped at the sight of one of the worst landslide disasters ever – the Frank Slide. The marker commemorates the people killed and the homes and business wiped out as the mountain gave way one terrible morning. Mining may have contributed to the event.
Calgary through the glass wall and from the top of the Tower – looking northeast toward the Bow River and several new construction sites.
The Tower from the street – it’s taller but not as attractive as the Space Needle of Seattle, Washington. It opened in 1968 as an important national attraction. Great museum across the street – the Glenbow – don’t miss it! There are artistic, historical and cultural exhibits throughout plus a huge precious stone and mineral display.
Chuck wagon Races – aa actual competition that horses are specially bred, raised and trained for. Great fun to watch and cheer for your favorite champion. The winner this year was a former national champion.
Us and many of our fellow Fantasy RV Tour members – enjoying the Stampede events.