Alberta: Calgary Stampede wraps with over half a million visitors

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The Calgary Stampede says more than half a million people walked through the gates at this year’s event — less than half of the attendance of the past two Stampedes but still a substantial crowd for one of the first mass events in Canada since COVID-19 struck.

The decline is not a surprise, given the smaller-than-usual event and restricted admittance that came on the heels of the Alberta government lifting COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

In total, 528,998 guests attended the 10-day event, which wrapped Sunday.

“The Calgary Stampede has been a trailblazer throughout our 109-year history, but never more than this year,” the organization said in a release Monday.

“Thank you for joining us to Stampede your way, and to celebrate the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

The most recent regular editions of the festival attracted 1,275,465 visitors in 2019 and 1,271,241 in 2018. The 2019 edition was the second-highest attended Calgary Stampede since 2012, when the Stampede celebrated its 100th year.

The event was cancelled in 2020 for the first time in almost 100 years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings.

That cancellation resulted in the festival losing an unprecedented $26.5 million in 2020 — a far cry from the roughly $150 million in annual revenues usually pulled in by the event.

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