One of the biggest events in Canada that ran through "hell or high water" has been brought down during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, is Calgary Stampede still happening? Unfortunately, after almost a hundred years of operation, this year's event is cancelled.
"We are unable to host the 2020 edition of the Calgary Stampede," said Dana Peers, Calgary Stampede President & Chairman of Board.
The non-profit organization announced on Thursday, April 23, that the major event in its entirety has been cancelled for this year. However, they pledge they'll be back next year.
"This is different. This virus, this pandemic, this response, is affecting everyone," said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
"This year, with this amount of risk, we cannot do that," he continued.
"Thank you the Calgary Stampede for its responsibility," said Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.
With the summer event called off, Stampede organizers say they're looking to plan smaller fall, winter, and spring events at Stampede Park. They're also getting ready for a major 2021 event.
The Stampede was scheduled to take place from Friday, July 3 to Sunday, July 12.
We are saddened to share that we are unable to host the 2020 Calgary Stampede. While this is difficult, we know it’… https://t.co/9X0QUKw19o— Calgary Stampede (@Calgary Stampede)1587677263.0
The event draws a million visitors to Calgary every year and pumps $540 million into the provincial economy. It's not just a crazy amount of fun, it also brings with it thousands of job opportunities every year.
"The Stampede is a critical part of who we are as Calgarians," said Nenshi.
"But these are extraordinary times, and the Stampede has done what they always do: put the community first."
The spirit of volunteerism infuses and energizes our community. We’d like to take this time, especially during this… https://t.co/eyZ9InCsMc— Calgary Stampede (@Calgary Stampede)1587405664.0
The enormous rodeo and fair was first started in 1912. It has run every single year after since 1923, through two world wars, the Great Depression and the 2013 floods.
From chuck-wagon racing, horse shows, an entire fair, and plenty of amazing foods to try, it's no surprise why it's been so successful.
With the health and safety of our community top of mind, the Calgary Stampede has made the decision to postpone the… https://t.co/iiQoDGQfJM— Calgary Stampede (@Calgary Stampede)1584129876.0
"We did the right thing. So thank you all," finished Peers. Even though Alberta's identity is deeply tied to the summer fair, there will be a summer next year, too.