Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 6, 2012

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A cowboy hangs onto a bucking bull while a rodeo clown watches.

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Canada. The ten-day event attracts over one million visitors per year and features a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions. The first Stampede was held in 1912, organized by American promoter Guy Weadick and supported by four area ranchers as a celebration of their lifestyle. A second Stampede was held in 1919 and it became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition. It is one of Canada's largest festivals and has become synonymous with Calgary's identity. It is a significant tourist attraction for the city which takes on a party atmosphere: businesses decorate their buildings in cowboy and western themes and hundreds of community events are held throughout the city. The Stampede is one of the premier events on the professional rodeo and chuckwagon circuits. Both are televised nationally in Canada and offer one of the largest prize funds in each sport. Some events, particularly chuckwagon racing, are controversial and have become the target of international criticism by animal welfare groups. (more...)

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