For the first time ever, the Calgary Stampede has been cancelled for 2020. According to Madeline Smith of the Calgary Herald on Thursday, the decision to cancel the Stampede was made to protect all Albertans during the coronavirus outbreak.
It is still unsafe to be around a large group of people. In Alberta, there is a limit of 15 people in any gathering. In addition to the Calgary Stampede, the K-Days (formerly known as Klondike Days) in Edmonton has also been cancelled. The Calgary Stampede was to take place from July 3-12 and the K-Days were to take place from July 17-26, 2020.
There are approximately one million people who come to the Calgary Stampede every year according to Smith. The Stampede also holds one of the world’s most notable rodeo and chuckwagon racing competitions on an annual basis.
To put the cancellation into perspective, the first Calgary Exhibition and Stampede took place in 1923. Since then it survived every year of World War II, (1939 to 1945) and the 2013 Alberta floods where there was $5.42 billion worth of property damage.
Currently there are 3720 cases of coronavirus in Alberta and 68 deaths. There are also 2633 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Calgary region, compared to only 454 in Edmonton. The places in southern Alberta that have been hit the hardest are long term care facilities and meat processing plants.