Special Events magazine turns 30 this year, but the legendary Calgary Stampede — in Calgary, Alberta — dates back far longer.
Founded in 1912 as a festival to provide tourists with an authentic “Wild West” experience, the Stampede has grown to an annual 10-day event with a parade, midway, chuck wagon races and concerts. The Stampede organization has also “expanded its endeavors to support the city through educational grants and community funding,” says Melanie Khunkhun, special events coordinator. “It has maintained its roots and its traditional focus on agriculture and Western heritage, but has also stayed current by hosting a variety of events.”
Today, Stampede Park — which includes exhibit halls, an arena, a grandstand with full rodeo ring, a race track and barns — has hosted everything from concerts and conventions to weddings. The city's star has attracted other stars, including Queen Elizabeth, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka William and Kate) just months after their wedding. For more information, visit www.calgarystampede.com.