Ethical tourists should know the underpinning of the Calgary Stampede is a rodeo which exploits domestic livestock for entertainment and profit. Not unlike bull-fights, tame animals endure needless humiliation, catastrophic injury and death at rodeo events across the province of Alberta through the use of excoriating devices that encourage bucking, spurs and prodding and overcrowded chuckwagon racing tracks. Visit 'rodeo cruelty' on YouTube to see how very tough indeed it is to enjoy the true western heritage and hospitality of a beautiful city with this outdated vaudevillian circus happening on the grounds.
We got up fairly early on our second day in Calgary still trying to beat jet lag and cope with the time difference. Watching the news on TV at 7,30 we saw a report on the crowds who had pitched their seats at 4.30am and the streets were being closed at 8.00
Thoughts were "Ah well might as well go down town anyway"
Could not believe the size of the crowds - it really was wall to wall people.
After a wander around the pedestrian area - pretty much had it to ourselves we decided to go to Calgary Tower.
There were large gaps in the crowd here and we were able to catch the last of the parade
If you aren't visiting Calgary for the Stampede in midJuly, stay as far away as possible. Unless you've made reservations far in advance you won't find one bed to sleep in. Traffic is outrageous, the restaurants are filled to capacity, etc. It doesn't matter which part of Calgary you are in the city triples in size for the week. So be warned. However, if you love rodeo definitely go.