While we love the Calgary Stampede, sometimes the smaller set can feel a little trampled by the crowds. That doesn’t mean that the kids can’t get their rodeo on elsewhere. There are a whole range of smaller rodeos and county fairs that make for great day trips with the family. Here are some top western adventures to enjoy this summer.
July 23–26, Lacombe
Parade meets slo-pitch tournament meets farmers’ market, cattle show, live theatre and hot air balloon rides. A BBQ and pancake breakfast are sure to please tummies both big and small and the library book sale is perfect for picking up summer reads. This classic county fair has a little something for everyone (including a beer garden for mom and dad).
Ranch Hand Competition and Annual Fall Fair
July 25, and August 15–16, Airdrie
Take in some rustic fun right in Calgary’s backyard. The Ranch Hand Competition takes place in the Rodeo Grounds just west of Airdrie, and lets your future farm hands get a taste of what life is like on a real ranch. The kids will get a kick out of the cattle trailer loading as will mom (read: just like loading the kids in the van), and they’ll get their exercise during the calf scramble. Return to Airdrie in mid-August for their Fall Fair which offers everything from baking to kids’ crafts, educational displays and all the other trappings you’d expect at a county fair event. Even better: the exhibitor competitions cover a wide range of categories and are open to all ages.
That’s just the beginning. There’s rodeo fun all summer long, and we know where to find it. Check out the rest of our Summer Rodeos and Country Fairs in Calgary.