The 2021 Calgary Stampede is over, and it’s time for most of us to put away our cowboy boots, oversized belt buckles, and two-stepping skills until next July.
After being put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, the 10-day extravaganza made a comeback this year, and, according to numbers from event organizers, the Calgary Stampede saw 528,998 guests in 2021.
The event welcomed these visitors to Stampede Park from July 9 to 18 and during the “Sneak-a-Peek” evening on July 8.
This year’s attendance was less than half of the number of guests that visited Stampede Park in 2019, which was the last time the event was held. From July 4 to 14, 2019, there were 1,275,465 visitors, making it the second highest attendance on record.
The Calgary Stampede saw its all-time high for guests during its 100-year celebration in 2012, welcoming 1,409,371 people over the course of the event.
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“We asked you to ride again,” reads an email from the Calgary Stampede, “and you did!”
While the much-loved chuckwagon races weren’t a part of the 2021 event, this year’s Stampede saw many of the iconic experiences that guests have come to expect, including the afternoon rodeo, Dog Bowl, midway rides and games, inventive food and beverages, and the Nashville North live music tent.
Visitors to Stampede Park saw some pandemic-related changes this year, such as hand-sanitizing stations, more space on the midway, capacity limits, and a requirement to show proof of vaccine or receive a negative rapid COVID-19 test prior to entering Nashville North.
As Canada’s first event of this size since the onset of the pandemic, the Calgary Stampede laid the initial steps for the safe return of live community celebrations for both the city and the country.
“The Calgary Stampede has been a trailblazer throughout our 109-year history, but never more than this year,” said the Calgary Stampede.
“Thank you for joining us to Stampede your way, and to celebrate The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”