The Greatest Outdoor show kicks off in Calgary today with the annual Calgary Stampede Parade. Some 30,000 Wannabe Cowboys and Cowgirls will line the streets of downtown Calgary to celebrate the start of the ten day event. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the rodeo.
The Calgary Stampede is expected to attract millions of visitors from around the world. Vistors will come from every province in Canada and every state south of the border.
Top Cowboys and Cowgirls, who have won a place to compete in this prestigious rodeo by winning points in rodeos throughout North America will be competing to become the best in their event.
Events include, Bareback and Saddle bronc riding, Bull riding, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling and the very popular, but dangerous, Chuckwagon Races. This is where who is who in the Rodeo World shows up.
The rodeo is not without its detractors of animal rights activists and humane societies., best known as the host of "The Price is Right"
"I would like very much to see them celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede by saying that is enough animal cruelty," Barker said recently in an interview with The Canadian Press. "Let's wind it up and close it down." 680 News.com
Calgary has had its problems with animals being killed at the rodeo, especially Chuckwagon horses. This year veterinarians are doing a study on the effect of the races on the livestock. Suffice to say that the animals are part of the family for a those cowboys and the welfare of the animals is foremost in their mind.
Rodeo originated over a century ago, when working cowboys competed and demonstrated their skills at ranch competitions. One thing of note is that cowboys do not get paid unless they win. Many of the competitors travel together and there is a strong bond.
The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not for profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. Some 2,000 volunteers contribute to make the event happen. The Stampede contributes to the value of life in Calgary and Southern Alberta through its year round facilities, which promote western events and several youths and agriculture programs. All revenues are reinvested into events an facilities.
If you like excitement and something different, come on down to Calgary, Alberta and enjoy the show.