Chuckwagon fans rejoice! One of the biggest events of the Calgary Stampede will return this year.
The Stampede announced the return of the Grandstand-packing races on its social media platforms.
Kristina Barnes with the Calgary Stampede said the organization asked visitors what they missed most in 2021, and chuckwagon racing was number one.
“Our community still embraces it fully,” said Barnes. “You know it is something that people look forward to and it was the number one thing that people said they missed about last year’s Stampede.”
The 2022 Rangeland Derby will feature 27 Chuckwagon drivers racing over nine nightly heats.
The Chucks haven’t happened for two years — the pandemic caused the cancellation of the Stampede in 2020, and last year’s scaled-back event did not feature the races.
At the time, Stampede organizers said given the lack of racing prior to the greatest outdoor show on earth, it would not be safe to allow the competition to go on.
For veteran driver Mark Sutherland, the return is welcome news to families across Canada involved in the sport.
“It’s our big event. That’s where all the fans and the sponsors come out with the TV ,” said Sutherland. “I’m excited to get in front of the fans and showcase my horses at the Calgary Stampede.”
Tickets for the derby are already on sale.
Parade to return
The Stampede also confirms that the annual parade will return to it’s pre-pandemic downtown route.
The 2021 Stampede Parade was held at the grounds with no spectators.
“We were able to have a parade last year,” said Barnes “But we’re super excited to see it come back and go through downtown. It’s such an iconic part of what we do and we know our community loves it.”
Other aspects of the Stampede, including Nashville North, the midway, food vendors and concerts are also set to return full force in 2022.
The Stampede kicks off July 8.