The Calgary Stampede has been a Canadian institution since its inception in 1912 when it was called “Frontier Day Celebration and Championship”.
Below are the top ten most surprising facts about the Calgary Stampede:
1 – Poo Emoji
In 2016 the most popular game prise by far was the poo emoji and more had to be quickly brought in after they ‘sold out’ as prises.
2 – Horse Apples
In recent years there are three times as much horse plops to take away after the Stampede as there was stuffed / plush prises given away (by volume).
3 – No Midway at the Stampede?
The Calgary Exhibition was a separate event from Stampede until 1923, more than 10 years after the first Stampede.
The Free Stampede Breakfast has been a tradition since the beginning and was a large part of the reason it had attendance of more than 200,000 in a city of just 75,000. Today the Stampede hosts 1.25 million guests annually and those free pancake breakfasts at hundreds of Calgary venues keep the crowds happy.
5 – Beer… A lot of Beer!
Cowboys Night Club Tent sells more than 1 million cans of beer every Stampede just by itself. In fairness, Cowboys starts its Stampede math 2 days early because that is when it starts Stampede events in its tent. I have spoken with very attractive “hostesses” that claim they can make more than $1000 a night in tips alone. Cowboys has so many women lined up trying to get work from all over the world that they do interviews through Skype. You have to be hot, young and fast to work at Cowboys during the beer rush… I mean Stampede.
6 – $100 Hot Dog
Yes, you read that correct. In 2015 the Stampede had a $100 hot dog and… wait for it… wait for it… it SOLD OUT in just 1 day. This was no ordinary hot dog:
The Dragon Dog is infused with expensive cognac ($3000 bottle!) and topped with Kobe beef, lobster and truffles.
7 – 2 Million Mini Doughnuts Consumed
You may think you know fast food, but nobody knows more than the Calgary Stampede. Just look at these numbers from 2014.
8 – Women Racers Only!
In the rough and tumble rodeo you would think there would not be space for women, but you would be wrong. Barrel racing, even in 2016, is formally restricted to women only. You also might think that this is young women’s sport… wrong again. In 2016 the champion was a 67 year old grand mother!
9 – Baby’s Baby’s Everywhere
There is a baby boom every March and April following Stampede. It is very difficult to get an OBGYN for women due during that time and nurses must take extra shifts to fill the need. Our oldest daughter was born April 3rd and the medical staff referred all such kids as Stampede Baby.
10 -Not For Profit… Really?
The Calgary Stampede has been a not-for-profit operation since 1994 and employees more than 1000 staff year round. The “Calgary Stampede Foundation” spends nearly $3 million each year on Canadian Western heritage programs including The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts and the Calgary Show Band. It brings in about $8.5 million per year and has about $30 million in the bank.
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