The rain couldn’t keep Katherine Steele and her friends away from the Stampede grounds this weekend, but it might have kept others away as attendance for the first weekend of Stampede is down from last year.
Steele said the chuckwagons were just as full, but she definitely noticed a lack of people on the midway.
“For all the sweet rides we only had to wait in line for two or three minutes, five at the most. Before, you had to wait for like an hour for that same ride,” said Steele.
For sneak-a-peek night, attendance was up from 36,700 to 38,900. On Friday, attendance was basically the same for both years in the 91,000 range. On Saturday, there were 103,000 people compared to 117,000 from the previous year.
“There is a lot of the week left and we’re looking forward to welcoming hundreds of thousands of more people over the next seven days,” said Doug Fraser, media relations manager for the Calgary Stampede.
Fraser said that there is more than $3 million worth of entertainment on the Stampede grounds and that there is plenty to do inside if it does rain.
Fraser said he doesn’t believe that the economy is keeping people away, and that the end of the week is typically stronger in terms of visitor numbers.
An attendance figure for yesterday was not available at press time.