The 2018 Calgary Stampede was one of the most successful to date

Jul 17 2018, 4:08 am

Another year, another Stampede for the books.

While this year’s Calgary Stampede may not have broken the longstanding record for highest attendance — which is held by 2012’s show at 1,409,371 attendees — it was still one of the most successful.

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Approximately 1,270,000 tickets were sold to this year’s Stampede, which is over 50,000 more people than the amount that attended back in 2017.

The weather held out (for the most part) during the 10-day event, and some serious money was won by bull-riders, chuckwagon-racers, and Stampede Grounds gamblers.

We even managed to send one frightened staff writer out for a weekend to experience his first ever Stampede, and he miraculously made it back in one piece to report on all that happened.

We’ve put together some highlights from this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth to give you a chance to look back fondly on all the moments you probably can’t remember.

The Food

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Photo courtesy Calgary Stampede

There were some serious new additions to the wild Stampede food lineup this year, with everything from Pop Rocks Mini Doughnuts to the Wat-A-Melon.

We decided to put together a photo roundup of all the best eats that were had on the grounds this July so that we can all enjoy the sight (if not the taste) of these delicacies.

Now please excuse us while we hit the gym in an attempt to sweat out ten days worth of deep fried goodness.

The Music

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Calgary Stampede concert (Calgary Stampede/Facebook)

Other than a few hiccups where artists who were supposed to perform didn’t quite make it, the music at this year’s Stampede was spectacular, to say the least.

Attendees were treated to free, open-air performances at the Coca-Cola stage that included legends like Sheryl Crow, Our Lady Peace, Lights, Billy Talent, and The Rural Alberta Advantage, and many more played at the nearby Cowboy’s Music Festival.

Aerosmith’s own Steven Tyler made a visit to Calgary for the festival, along with Kygo, Old Dominion, John Pardi, and even the Yodelling Walmart Kid, Lil Hank Williams.

It wasn’t just the Stampede Grounds that were filled with music this July, either, as Lil Hank Williams filled up The Core Shopping Centre’s atrium for a free performance.

The Festivities

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The Calgary Stampede Parade went off without a hitch, even though the temperatures got a little high by midday.

If there’s anyone out there who wasn’t up early enough to catch it — don’t worry, we got you.

We made sure to put together a roundup of some of the best photos taken of the extensive parade, which included multiple marching bands, dozens of floats, and one ridiculous truck to start the whole thing off.

2018 also marked a few notable firsts for the Stampede, including music and dancing at the Big Four Road Roadhouse, high flying ziplines, and the 50th anniversary of the Grandstand Show.

The Rodeo

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Photo Credit: Andy Nichols / Calgary Stampede

No Calgary Stampede would be complete without a little rodeo action.

2018’s event was ten days straight of intense bucking, roping, racing, and wrestling, and at the end of it all, a few winners rose out of the dust.

Here’s a look at the winners of this year’s rodeo:

  • Saddle Bronc Riding: Ryder Wright from Milford, UT
  • Bareback Riding: Richie Champion from Dublin, TX
  • Bull Riding: Marcos Gloria from Edmonton, AB
  • Tie Down Roping: Tuf Cooper from Weatherford, TX
  • Steer Wrestling: Matt Reeves from Corss Plains, TX
  • Barrel Racing: Hailey Kinsel from Cotulla, TX

The Chuckwagons

calgary stampede

Image: Calgary Stampede / Facebook

The chuckwagon races are a must-watch for any complete Stampede experience, and this year was no exception.

The Half Mile of Hell saw many competitors make their way around the track, but only one team could end the show as champions.

Kurt Bensmiller from Dewberry, AB took home the $100,000 grand prize from the 2018 chuckwagon races, making it his fourth win in five years at the Calgary Stampede.

Big Changes

The Calgary Stampede’s Indian Village has made the switch to a new name, and will now be known as Elbow River Camp.

The decision came from both the Tipi Owners and the Calgary Stampede, as the name “Indian Village” to describe a gathering of Indigenous tipis has been seen as outdated and unacceptable.

The name change was made on July 15, the last day of the 2018 Calgary Stampede, at the Elbow River Camp’s closing ceremony.

An age-old question finally answered

And finally, the City of Calgary got around to answering the age-old question that has stumped visitors and residents of Calgary alike every time the Stampede comes around: Is it “Yeehaw” or “Yahoo”?

It turns out that it is, most definitely, resoundingly, and absolutely “YAHOO.”

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