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Calgary attendees happy with the execution of 2021 Stampede

Four days in and many attendees feel that the 2021 Calgary Stampede is a COVID safe event despite initial health concerns.

It looks different and feels different on the grounds, but you can still find the same Stampede spirit. Around the grounds and across Calgary, there are pancake breakfasts and other events in a different Calgary Stampede year.

Last month, the Calgary Stampede said it would go ahead this year with safety measures to ensure guests were protected from COVID.

This included things like digital queuing and sanitization stations around the grounds. Attractions were also limited by 25 per cent in order to create more space for people to social distance. Indoor attractions have been limited as well, with the exhibitor’s hall in the BMO Center being noticeably emptier than usual. 

Proof of vaccination or rapid test would also be required to enter the Nashville North venue however it would be required to enter the grounds itself. The Calgary Stampede though said it wouldn’t be reporting daily attendance numbers. They will report the final number. They anticipated roughly half the attendance at this year’s event.

Some events cancelled, others changed

The chuckwagon races had been cancelled with Stampede officials that prevented the Rangeland Derby from being a part of the 2021 evening show. It is anticipated that the chuckwagons will return in 2022. 

The rodeo is hot into day four, but limited seating available at the grandstand. Attendees will be able to watch as international competitors from the United States come and compete in one of Stampede’s most popular live events.

Health and safety advisor Dr. Jia Hu stated that the event is completely safe for people to attend and that the proper measures will be taken to ensure that the event is held responsibly.

“I would not be standing here if I didn’t think this event could be put on safely and responsibly,” Dr. Hu said.


Mixed reactions

Despite concerns that the measures wouldn’t be enough, attendees LiveWire Calgary talked with on the grounds Monday said they were comfortable.

Attendees felt the Calgary Stampede has done an adequate job in ensuring that the event is safe.

Cindy, who only wanted to use her first name, said the reduced attractions and limited attendees had made the Stampede a very safe event to attend post-COVID-19.

“We just left the rodeo and we were not crammed in like we usually were. I felt very safe and very comfortable. I think they have done a great job. Overall I am very impressed,” said Cindy.

Attendee Amrit Singh feels that the event is effective in limiting COVID-19 due to the measures put in place as well as Calgary’s strong vaccination rates.

“The restrictions have been lifted and most people have been vaccinated. I’m liking it so far and I don’t have much I would suggest to improve it,” said Singh.

The Stampede will continue until July 18.