The Calgary Stampede 2021 will be known for its smoky skies and the year it paved the way to become the first major event to be held in Canada during the pandemic.
Officials qualify the show as a success based on the safety and satisfaction of the guests.
“You got involved and trusted the Stampede. You asked us to act responsibly. You asked us to put on a great show. You asked us to lead the way and we did, ”said Stampede President and Board Chairman Steve McDonough.
“We did what we said we would do. Show the world that we can open our doors to a new and more positive future. “
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Free entry offered for the last day of the Calgary Stampede
Seventy-three percent of the guests at the Nashville North Music Tent and Beer Garden presented proof of vaccination to enter while the rest opted for a rapid test. Out of 60,000 people, 18 have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been sent home.
“The rodeo competitors competed safely thanks to a modified quarantine program and Nashville North, with entry requirements never seen before in Canada, got closer to record numbers,” said Dana Peers, CEO Acting Calgary Stampede.
“Our midweek guest experience surveys told us that our guests felt comfortable during their visit and confident that the Stampede did everything in our power to keep people safe. “
It will also be remembered by some rodeo enthusiasts as the year that chariot races were not held at the Calgary Stampede.
The organization said that due to the lack of pre-Stampede races, safety requirements for their “Fitness to Compete” program were not being met.
“We had to make some really tough decisions early on and we are certainly looking forward to getting back to cart racing in 2022,” said Peers.
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As expected, attendance was cut in half, with around 50,000 people per day visiting the field. Seventy-five percent came from Calgary, 13 percent from elsewhere in Alberta and 12 percent from outside the province.
“They always say Calgary is better. I beg you to disagree as an Edmontonian, ”said with a laugh Desiree Greene, who came to Calgary to see the Stampede on Sunday.
“So far it’s a bit similar. I think it’s a bit bigger and bigger than the K Days in Edmonton, but I like it so far.
Some Calgarians said they went to the Stampede because it was free on Sunday, while others said they went because COVID-19 hampered their travel plans.
“We take advantage of the Stampede to have fun as a family. We usually travel during the summer. That’s why we’re here, because we’re not traveling now, ”Calgarian Rebecca Dunne said.
Stampede officials say they will take a look at everything they’ve learned during this difficult year to help put on a bigger and better show next year.
“We’ve learned to be flexible and we’ve learned to know that we can respond quickly and still be successful,” said Peers.
Officials optimistic as final 2021 Calgary Stampede weekend approaches
The total attendance for the 2019 Calgary Stampede was 1,275,465.
This year, Stampede workers were required to wear masks during their shift, and entry into the Nashville North music tent and beer garden required proof of vaccination or a negative result of a rapid test. The middle has also been redesigned to allow guests to have more space between them.
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