To outsiders, the Calgary Stampede probably looks like a big party where everyone gets drunk and pretends to be cowboys for 10 days.
But those who live in Calgary know the Calgary Stampede is much more than that. It's a cultural celebration of our past, present and future and a chance to fête the city's unique western identity.
Think you know what the Calgary Stampede is all about? Click through the gallery below for 11 facts that may surprise you.
Text of the slideshow continues below
1. Approximately 120,000 people visit the Calgary Stampede each day, making it the third largest city in Alberta for 10 days each July.
2. More than 2,300 volunteers sit on the Stampede's 47 committees.
3. More than two million mini donuts (arguably the most popular Stampede food) are served throughout the 10-day fair.
4. The Stampede Queen and Princesses and the Indian Princess make close to 400 appearances throughout the year of their reign.
5. Over 20,000 Stampede posters are distributed around the world every year.
6. The amount of money raised each year at the Stampede chuckwagon tarp auction is seen as being an indicator of Calgary’s economic strength
7. The University of Calgary offered an official credit course on the Calgary Stampede in 2012. Some of the lectures took place on Stampede grounds.
8. You could live off of free pancakes during Stampede. Companies, politicians and community organizations host more than 100 pancake breakfasts over the course of the Stampede each year.
9. The Calgary Stampede is the highest-grossing festival in Canada, ahead of Ottawa's Winterlude, the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.
10. The Calgary Stampede fireworks happen every night of the festival. In 2012, during the celebration's centennial, each quadrant of the city had simultaneous fireworks displays.
11. The thoroughbred horses chuckwagon races and animals in the rodeo all receive veterinarian inspections before and after competition. If there is a health concern, the vet will take them out of the event.