The Strathmore Stampede is coming up fast and with it being the third-largest rodeo in Canada there are some interesting things about what made it, what it is today.
1. The Strathmore Stampede's origins come from an annual trail ride where ranchers and farmers, mainly out east of Strathmore, would trail ride into the Calgary Stampede, and traditionally they would camp in Strathmore as they stopped along the way.
In 1965 when all the trail riders came out to camp they decided they would put on a little display of horsemanship in Strathmore, and a bunch of them got together and started showing off their horsemanship skills with different trials. Locals from the community ended up coming out to watch it all.
The farmers and ranchers agreed that next year they would come back and put on an actual official ticketed show, which would mark the beginning of the Strathmore Stampede in 1966.
2. The Strathmore Stampede once included outhouse races through downtown Strathmore! People built their own outhouses on wheels and there was a race down main street.
3. 2003 saw the start of one of the Stampede's biggest events, The Running with the Bulls. The winner of the first and second year of the event was Mark Leboldus and this year marks the 20th anniversary of Running with the Bulls. The iconic Strathmore event remains one of very few locations outside of Spain where you can run with bulls.
4. In the 1990’s the focus saw a change of image to provide a family weekend by incorporating children’s entertainment, a local entertainment stage, a trade show, a parade, and fireworks.
The hosting of these events annually each August long weekend created a major tourist attraction that was brought to Strathmore and surrounding areas as indicated by its growing attendance. These events quickly became a staple of the Stampede, and some may attend the Stampede just for the events rather than the rodeo itself!
5. In 1985 the Heritage Days Rodeo turned professional and became sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and then in 1988, Heritage Days saw the addition of the World Professional Chuck Wagon Association come to the grounds.
6. The rodeo grounds used to be located at Lambert Park.
7. It takes more than 500 volunteers every year to put on The Strathmore Stampede every year.
The Strathmore Stampede is set to kick off on August 4 and run until August 7. For more information and to buy tickets visit strathmoreag.com.
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