While the Calgary Stampede is the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” Alberta’s western heritage runs deep across the province – where a number of small-town and community rodeos, both professional and amateur, are being held throughout the summer.
Dogpound Rodeo: July 19 This Foothills Cowboy Association-sanctioned rodeo is in its 112th year in 2017. Attendees can expect cow milking, pony racing, trick riding and a dance, in addition to the standard rodeo events.
Millarville Heritage Rodeo: July 23 This annual rodeo, hosted by the Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society is in its 21st year in 2017. There will be rodeo events, live music and dancing throughout the three-day event.
Nanton Canadian High School Rodeo Finals: July 27-29 An excellent opportunity for young rodeo athletes to showcase their skills, the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals will include a number of rodeo events, such as pole bending, barrel racing, open goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping – with a number of prizes and scholarships for the top performers.
Manning Rodeo: July 20-23 Hosted by the Battle River Agricultural Society, the Manning Rodeo will include chuckwagon races, a parade, an amateur rodeo, a pancake breakfast, beer gardens and a rodeo queen contest.
Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede: July 26-29 The next best thing to Calgary’s version, the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede is in its 130th year. There will be nightly live music performances, a midway and a number of rodeo events for attendees to enjoy.
Rockyford Rodeo: July 28-30 This year marks the Rockyford Rodeo’s 60th anniversary. There will be rodeo events, chuckwagons, beer gardens, dances, free pancake breakfast, a parade and much more at this event, hosted by the Rockyford Agricultural Society.
Strathmore Heritage Days Stampede: August 4-7 Like Calgary and Medicine Hat, Strathmore also has a stampede event to call its own. There will be a number of rodeo events, including bareback riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, bull riding, tie-down roping and chuckwagon races. It will also host the 14th year of Running with the Bulls – similar to the world famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain – where volunteer participants will try to outrun and evade a group of the angry bovines.
Bentley Fair & Rodeo: August 9-12 Hosted by the Bentley and District Agricultural Society, the festival will kick off with a traditional western parade, followed by the rodeo events. There will also be beer gardens, a show and shine, and a horse shoe tournament.
Valleyview Annual Fair & Rodeo: August 11 Enjoy a pancake breakfast, parade, bench show, pet show, rodeo events (junior, local and Wildrose Rodeo Association-sanctioned), beer gardens and a rodeo dance at this annual event, hosted by the Valleyview Agricultural Society.
Jasper Heritage Rodeo: August 16-19 Started by area ranchers in 1926, the rodeo features several professional rodeo events, including team roping, saddle bronc and bull riding, as well as a barbecue, parade and pancake breakfast.
Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo: August 17-20 Hosted by the Pincher Creek and District Agricultural Society, this event features a team roping event on the Thursday, with the pro rodeo events beginning on Friday. There will also be a rodeo cabaret and mutton busting for the little ones.
Didsbury Fair and Rodeo: August 18-20 This annual event hosted by the Didsbury Agricultural Society features beer gardens, a kids zone and a fireworks display on the Friday night, in addition to a number of rodeo events.
Vulcan Sid Hartung Memorial Rodeo: August 19-20 This Foothills Cowboy Association-sanctioned event is held in honour of Sid Hartung – a past resident of Vulcan County who was an ardent supporter of rodeo in the community. In addition to traditional rodeo events, the rodeo will feature wild pony races, trick riders, mini-chuckwagon races, breakfast, and beer gardens.
Westlock Annual Ag Fair & Rodeo: August 18-20 This year’s fair and rodeo will be the 104th edition of the event, hosted by the Westlock Agricultural Society. There will be bench shows, children’s events, rodeo events, a parade and trade shows.
Cochrane Bull Riding Classic: August 19 Thirty of the top bull riders in the country face off at this annual event that is in its 17th year in 2017. There is also a week of non-rodeo entertainment in the lead up to the classic, starting on Aug. 14.
Okotoks Pro Rodeo: August 25-27 In its 26th year in 2017, this rodeo hosted by the Okotoks Pro Rodeo Society is run entirely by volunteers. It is sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and represents one of the final qualifying events for rodeo athletes hoping to make it to the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which will be held in Edmonton Nov. 8-12.
Barrhead Wildrose Rodeo Finals: September 14-17 Hosted by the Barrhead Agricultural Society, the Barrhead Wildrose Rodeo Finals will include a number of rodeo events, a wild pony race and pancake breakfasts, as well as a full concession and saloon.
Hanna Pro Rodeo: September 22-24 In addition to the usual rodeo events, the Hanna Pro Rodeo often features pie eating contests, pancake breakfasts, a horse parade and a dance.