Stampede gallops to second-highest attendance of all time

Attendance at the Calgary Stampede was the second-highest in the event's history in 2018, trailing only its centennial celebration in 2012

Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth had 56,269 more visitors than in 2017

Brazil's Marcos Gloria, who lives in Edmonton, won the rodeo at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Beautiful weather and an economy on the mend likely contributed to the second-highest attendance rate in the history of the Calgary Stampede. 

The Stampede said 1,271,241 passed through its gates this year, up more than 56,000 from last year. The number was 150,000 short of the event's all-time record, when 1,409,371 people attended the Stampede's centennial in 2012. 

"Our community engagement, our community spirit has never been so high," said Stampede president and chairman David Sibbald at a press conference Sunday.

Attendance was up at this year's Stampede, but didn't break through the all-time record from 2012. (John Gibson/CBC)

"I want to take my hat off not only for everybody who came, but for everyone who participated in what was truly a remarkable year," he added.

Attendance for Sunday's final day was 113,415, down 4,099 from the final day of 2017 when it was 117,514.

"The Calgary Stampede creates memories and it always has," Sibbald said.

"But the memory this year is how we engaged the community and how the community responded to us. They came in droves, they came in numbers, they had a good time — and we couldn't be more proud."

Calgary Stampede president and chairman of the board David Sibbald addressed the media following the wrap up of the 2018 Stampede, which drew its second largest attendance ever. (Anis Heydari/CBC)