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Taos Muncy of Corona, New Mexico rides Kool Toddy to a score of 88.50 in the saddle bronc event during the 101st Calgary Stampede in Calgary , Alberta Sunday, July 14, 2013.
Taos Muncy of Corona, New Mexico rides Kool Toddy to a score of 88.50 in the saddle bronc event during the 101st Calgary Stampede in Calgary , Alberta Sunday, July 14, 2013.
(Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

TODD HIRSCH

Stampede is no ordinary rodeo – it’s Calgary’s brand

To many locals, it’s heaven on earth. To others, it’s a whole lot of noise, rowdy parties and people dressed up like children at Halloween. Love it or hate it, the Calgary Stampede – which kicks off today – is an economic boon to the city that is anything but trivial.

The annual event, now more than 100 years in the running, is more than just a rodeo and midway. It is 10 days of festivals, music and the famous pancake breakfasts. It’s estimated that the Stampede generates $345-million in spending on events, hotels, restaurants and recreation. Without question, it is the single largest event drawing international tourists to Alberta.