Stampede: Not for the faint-hearted

I wrote a review of the Calgary Stampede ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit there.

It appeared in the South Wales Evening Post on Saturday, June 4, 2011.

I went to this annual event in 2010, but didn’t have the opportunity to review it until it was announced that the newlywed royals were going to include it on their itinerary on their Canada trip.

Here’s an excerpt:


The crowds at Stampede 2010 in front of the Saddledome.

Calgary, a city of about 1 million, has some of Canada’s wealthiest and best-educated people.

Situated in the oil-rich province of Alberta, it is the Houston, Texas, of Canada, if you will.

For that reason, when I visited stampede, I expected a sort of modern-day homage to the Western cowboy culture that used to thrive in this area – a sort of city version of the Wild West.

But this folks, is the real thing, and it ain’t for the faint-hearted.