As such, attending annual festivals and fairs like the Calgary Stampede is a good way to keep entertained on the cheap. I only spent one day on the fairgrounds, so I didn’t get to see everything. That said, I did manage to see quite a bit. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights outside of the rodeo.
Given the agricultural origins of the Calgary Stampede, the organizers ensure that we remember these roots. You can go to the agriculture section to see a variety of livestock, including horses, cows, and sheep. There are also demonstrations to see what happens on the farm, like the sheep shearing shown above. We were told that each bundle of wool fetches less than a dollar; the sheep in Alberta are raised primarily for their meat. Menus may read as “lamb,” but they never sell “baby” sheep for that purpose.
One of the surprise highlights of the Calgary Stampede was the performance by Les Vitaminés, an acrobatic duo based out of Quebec City. They did a great job getting the audience involved and the “burlesque” elements made for some funny, albeit awkward entertainment.
I’ve been watching Herb Williams and the Superdogs at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver every year for as long as I can remember. Herb is a legend and the dogs are positively brilliant. Some are fast, some are agile, and some do best as slobber factories, but they’re all wonderfully sweet and endearing. Apparently, this was the 33rd year for the Superdogs and Herb Williams at the Calgary Stampede.
As part of the Stampede, attendees are also treated to a number of free outdoor concerts. Most of the names throughout the length of the fair are unfamiliar to me, but Bif Naked was performing the night that I was there. I’m not exactly a huge fan of Bif, but a free concert is a free concert.