Published on July 4th, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson0
The Calgary Stampede – The Root’n'est, Toot’n'est Wild West Festival on Earth
Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, the Calgary Stampede is coming to town! The town in question is Calgary in Canada, and this year will be the centennial year since Alberta saw its first Stampede festival, the root’n’est, toot’n’est wild west festival on earth. The Calgary Stampede attracts over 1 million people from all corners of the globe every year to pay homage to the spirit of the old West, where buffalo roamed, covered wagons rolled, and everyone wore ten-gallon hats and ridiculous neckerchiefs.
The self-styled ‘Biggest Outdoor Show on Earth’ gets underway with a parade through the streets of Calgary, which manages to incorporate Canadian Mounties, representatives of the First Nations, school bands, Scottish pipers and lots more. This really is the highlight of the year for Calgary, with the whole city turning out in their best western wear and loading up on such delicacies as ‘deep fried wagon wheels’, ‘deep fried vegetables’ and pretty much anything else it is possible to deep fry, while enjoying the city-wide carnival atmosphere.
True to its roots in Canadian prairie culture, the show’s main focus is on animals, humans, and the (sometimes difficult!) relationship between the two. One of the world’s biggest rodeos takes centre stage, including bareback and saddled bronco riding and the even more dangerous sport of bull riding. Steers are lassoed, wrestled to the ground and generally dominated in a skilful demonstration of the practices of the old cattle ranchers, yet with a considerably larger reward – the combined winnings add up to over $200 million dollars in prize money!