Good news for anyone who was heartbroken by the cancellation of last year’s Calgary Stampede – plans for the 2021 event are underway and the Stampede is scheduled to run from July 9 to 18.
“We remain committed to welcoming our community back safely and are looking forward to July with great hope and optimism,” Kristina Barnes, Communications Manager, Western Events & Agriculture at the Calgary Stampede, told Daily Hive.
Last year, the Calgary Stampede still hosted several of its famous fireworks shows, viewed at a distance from around the city, in addition to drive-thru food trucks offering mini donuts and other midway favourites.
The tradition of Stampede Week pancake breakfasts was kept alive by drive-thru too, providing guests with a neatly packed box containing everything they needed for their meal.
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The Stampede is multi-faceted, offering a wide variety of fun options beyond the rodeo events. Food, the midway, shopping and retail, agricultural displays, and concerts and other performances are just a few of the things that keep visitors coming back year after year.
“Stampede 2021 planning includes the iconic experiences our guests expect, and also the flexibility to adapt our operations,” said Barnes. “Specifics are not available but we can expect memorable and fun experiences and we look forward to sharing as we get closer to July.”
While the exact details are under wraps, we know that anything the Calgary Stampede plans is bound to be epic.
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During Tuesday’s public COVID-19 briefing, a question was raised about when organizers would know if they could move forward with in-person summer events, such as the Calgary Stampede.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said that much of the possibility of events happening will ride on vaccines and how much of the population gets inoculated.
“The more Albertans who are taking us up on that offer when they’re eligible, the more able we’ll be to consider moving this summer — again, depending on timelines and vaccine availability — into potentially allowing some festivals that we weren’t able to last summer.”
“We do appreciate that events don’t get planned overnight — it takes many months for the large festivals that happen over a summer,” added Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
“We are doing our best to make sure we are providing a path forward for Albertans,” Shandro added. “But we still can’t know yet what our case count might be in the coming months.”
With tickets for the rodeo and Evening Show already on sale, the Stampede continues to review operating guidelines and work with various levels of government and health officials on specific safety measures to support the best and safest Stampede possible.
What else might be different for the 2021 event? Calgary Stampede is likely looking at a more local market this year, compared to its usual world-wide audience.
“We are realistic that we may not be able to host international visitors but we don’t anticipate that our marketing efforts will differ significantly from previous years,” said Barnes.
That won’t stop the good times though – it’s always Calgarians who seem to have the most fun at the Stampede anyway.
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Not that we’re counting, but the 2021 Calgary Stampede is only 4 months away, so dust off your cowboy boots, pick up a new plaid shirt, and get ready for a comeback by the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.