The Calgary Stampede and My Crankiness!


Alright it comes once a year.  The Calgary Stampede.  I am one of the Calgarians who wants to leave the city for 10 days.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some good parts of the Stampede but mostly it is not for me.  I am much to cranky and lacking of ability to have booze fuelled fun, the hangovers suck.  So a blog for me to bitch and moan about the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!”

First off the things I like.  I like the super dogs show, that is always fun for me, mainly cause I love dogs.  I think the deep fried food really is awesome.  Food always speaks to me, especially when fried.  At the Stampede the deep fry everything, it’s fat guy paradise.  Any time I make it out to the Stampede it is with a healthy food budget.  I also really enjoy the rodeo and chuck wagon races.  The full grandstand show isn’t my thing, I could easily leave after the Chucks are done.

So my enjoyment of the chucks and rodeo lead me to my first issue.  I can’t handle the whiny hippies who bitch about the treatment of the animals.  The guys who do the Chucks spend a lot of money on those horses, tens of thousands of dollars, and they love them.  The animals at the Stampede are treated very well, the Stampede does a great job of protecting the animals as best as they can.  These animals are treated well because they are part of this event, it is a wonder if they would experience such treatment if not for these people.  So pet peeve for the stampede is the miseducated and annoying animal rights activists!

Next on my list is the excuse for the local businesses to suffer through the 10 day hangover of its employees.  My wife gets a day off for a freaking parade.  In fact half of downtown gets a day off so a bunch of people can ride horses through our economic core.  After the parade many of these workers elect cowboy hats, denim and plaid shirts for the next 10 days.  While doing this they regularly skip the first few hours of work for a pancake breakfast and follow up by a night of hard drinking.  Truly this week is just an excuse for most to get drunker than usual and forget they have real life responsibilities.  That phrase about what happens in Vegas has nothing on what happens at Stampede.   So frustration number two is the lack of work occurring in this city in the next week.

The last complaint I have is what a rip off the Stampede is.  I get that the rodeo and chucks cost money but it is the midway that gets me.  Most people’s experience of the Stampede is the midway and food.  The midway is an area filled with a bunch of carny thrill rides, well rides, not really much thrill.  They are constructed quickly and inherently aren’t very complex.  However the stampede sees a chance to make a fortune off this.  While the all day rides wristband seems like a deal, first you had to purchase a park admission.  So $58 for the weekend rides day pass and then $13 for the admission to the park.  $71 for low grade rides, most long out dated.  I can get into Disneyworld for $100, seems like the stampede is way out of balance here.  Prices are way out of whack.

So while many in my city will be enjoying a festival that celebrates our western redneck ideals, this crusty bastard will be whining and counting down the days to the completion.

2 thoughts on “The Calgary Stampede and My Crankiness!

  1. I lived in Montana as a kid (military brat) and spent 2 weeks in Lethbridge as part of a Scouting exchange program. One of the activities we attended was the Calgary Stampede.

    I don’t remember much, but it sounds very similar to my memories and to the State Fair we have in Texas. Fried foods, lots and lots of food, most of it fried. Lots of entertaining activities and a few that are a complete rip off.
    Those ‘rip off entertainments’ are what many people come to the fair/stampede for; it is part of the memories of their childhood.

    While I understand the frustration at the economic costs; is life only about work or productive work?
    Sometimes we forget the reason we work is so we can live. Isn’t it worth a little slowing down to pass on the heritage, the culture, the values — and especially the history/knowledge.
    You castigate (rightly) those who have no idea how the animals are treated; imagine how many people would complain if they never saw the Stampede, never learned the history, the intricacies, and care that goes into it?

    We will always be forced to deal with people who have no clue. I’m just glad we have events that help people learn to be a little less clueless.

    Bob S.


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