THE BLOG
07/10/2014 04:35 EDT | Updated 03/21/2019 16:10 EDT

15 Cool Facts About the History of the Calgary Stampede

Some of us see the Stampede as a place to party, drink and have a wild time, but in reality it is so much more than that. It is a celebration of the unique western culture that was, is and will be Calgary in the years to come.

The "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" is now underway down at the Stampede Grounds in Victoria Park, Calgary. Yahoo!

Some of us see the Stampede as a place to party, drink and have a wild time, but in reality it is so much more than that. It is a celebration of the unique western culture that was, is and will be Calgary in the years to come.

Put aside the concerts, shows, rides, games and everything else you'll find there and you're left with a rich history going back more than a century.

Here are some very interesting historical facts you may, or may not have known about the Calgary Stampede. Also be sure to check out these 21 Cool Calgary Stampede Number Related Facts today.

Photo gallery Calgary Stampede See Gallery

Did You Know?

  1. The very first show took place in September of 1912 and lasted only six days.
  2. Over 100,000 people attended the first Stampede.
  3. The first rodeo awarded $20,000 to competitors. According to Dave Manuel's inflation calculator, that's worth $487,804.88 in 2014.
  4. In 1912, more than 2000 aboriginal peoples led the Calgary Stampede parade fully clothed in ceremonial attire.
  5. Women were allowed to compete in fancy roping, bronc riding and trick riding in the first Stampede. Today they can only compete in barrel racing.
  6. Guy Weadick, the main driving force behind the show in its early years, led the Stampede's operations for 20 years.
  7. He couldn't have done it without A.E. Cross, A.J. MacLean, Pat Burns and George Lane, the "Big Four" businessmen who contributed $100,000 to the first show. Without it, it may not have gone on.
  8. The very first show generated approximately $120,000 in economic benefit, making it a great success!
  9. In 1923, the first free Stampede breakfast was held at a campsite just outside the Canadian Pacific Railway station close to downtown Calgary. Jack Morton, a chuck wagon driver, invited his loved ones and visitors to enjoy free pancakes at the camp, creating a tradition that still exists today!
  10. The same year (1923) was the first year where chuck wagons were used in the Calgary Stampede parade.
  11. The greatest outdoor show on Earth didn't become an annual event until 1923.
  12. The Stampede has its own Queen and princesses. In 1946, Patsy Rodgers became the first Calgary Stampede Princess. In modern times one queen, two princesses and one aboriginal princess are appointed to represent the show at various events around the city.
  13. By 1950 seven movie productions had filmed scenes at the Calgary Stampede.
  14. In 1959 the Big Four Building, named after the "Big Four" businessmen who helped fund the Stampede in its early stages, officially opened.
  15. The daily Grandstand Show began in 1964 that included the Calgary Kidettes, a group of young performers who would evolve into well-known and talented Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. The group still performs till this day at the Grandstand Show.
  16. It was in 1968 when the show officially became longer - a 10 day event instead of six.
  17. In 2003, the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede revealed a $550 million dollar expansion over 15 years that would renovate facilities and build new ones amongst other things. Projects coming soon include the Agrium Western Event Centre (2014), Riverfront Park (2015) and a Youth Campus (2017).

Are you heading down to the Calgary Stampede this year? We would love to see your photos! Hashtag us at #Calgaryism on Twitter and Instagram today!

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