Alberta - Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

I came in the southern entrance from 25th Avenue SE. Before even entering the park, the Trailblazer Centre is on the left, home of guest services and other office functions.

The Calgary skyline is visible at various points in the grounds, which is SSE of the tallest buildings. The first photo was taken at the southern entrance and features The Bow at right, the tallest building upon my 2013 visit. The second photo is at the skyride entrance, the third to the left of the Corral, and the fourth from the centre of the grounds. On either side of The Bow you have the Calgary Tower and the Arriva Tower (green, at right, closest to Stampede Park) as the most notable structures.

Views of the Stampede Grandstand, the "main event" for the rodeo and shows with the largest capacity of any building on site. The new, rounded Western Event Centre pokes its head into the 3rd photo at left.

"Big Four," a cafeteria with extras like games, is named for the 4 cattlemen who founded the Stampede in the early 20th century.

As of this writing, the Corral is being demolished after 70 years of service, 1950-2020. Time to paint a new mural.

The other "main event" is the Saddledome, connected to the Corral by a covered walkway (and possibly a horseway?). It's home to concerts and western showcases during the Stampede as well as the Calgary Flames, Hitmen (Western Hockey League junior team), and Roughnecks (lacrosse). And Jason. You get another view of the Western Event Centre at right in the first photo.

Another mural, this one on the Ag Barn that's sandwiched between the Saddledome and the WEC.

"By the Banks of the Bow" is a new (2012), CAD$2 million sculpture at the southwest corner of the Saddledome by local artists and ranchers Bob Spaith and Rich Roenisch. Unusually, every horse has a name. The ones rising out of the river in the first photo are Calamity Jane, Red Wing, and Skooks (being ridden). To give you an idea of how random the names are, the third photo features Zorro Bandit, Labelled Money, Mad Money, John Wayne, Coconut Roll, and 100 Proof. Do people really name their... wait, I've seen races, I already know this answer. It's still weird. And yes, I'm finishing this up in the remaining photos: Gin Neat, Fox, and Squaw Patch at the front of the last one. Incidentally, the horse in the front of the second photo, with the rider in front of it, is named "Horse and Rider." That's either a lame copout or the best name of all 15 horses.

Walking to the back (east) of the Saddledome, I come upon the Northern Lights Arena, which sounds marvellous but is really just a series of tents that house the lesser, free events and demonstrations.

A sample entry gate, this for the eastern pedestrian-only entrance that crosses the Elbow River. All gates have the Stampede horses and cowboy.

I left at the northern exit to Olympic Way/4th Street SE. The very Stampede Headquarters are found on the right only upon exiting the park.

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