The Calgary Stampede has kicked off with hundreds of thousands of people already taking in the sights.
In the first three days attendance has surpassed the start of the last pre-pandemic Stampede.
With numbers still rolling in, there have already been over 436,464 visitors through the Stampede gates with Sunday, July 10 bringing in 164,520 alone.
Stampede goer Austen Halarewich was surprised by the turnout when he went Monday afternoon.
"[It's] way busier. After not being around a lot of people for a couple of years. It's kind of jarring. But then after a while, it's kind of like this nice familiar feeling."
Along with droves of people, long-time Stampeders might notice some changes to the grounds this year including the reduction of 'Weadickville'.
Gone from the midway are the famous 'Slingshot' and massive 'Skyscraper.' Replaced by 'The Superwheel', North America's largest travelling Ferris wheel. This 150-foot, towering circle of steel is one of the main highlights and new attractions this year.
Also towering over the grounds is the BMO Centre expansion construction. This work hasn't hindered the all-new Market in the BMO Centre which has been greatly re-imagined featuring an International Pavilion and stage showcasing international culture, dance, music and traditions from around the world.
A local vendor in the BMO market Rico Ruiz is happy about the change in the market.
"Definitely better. They did a great job funneling people in from the entrances into the market. They have great signage so we've seen a lot of people come in compared to last year."
New this year is the '22 Calgary Stampede Powwow, a competitive powwow taking place on July 12-14 at the Scoitabank Saddledome.
As with most years, the Stampede music lineup features over 100 acts across multiple different venues. Nashville North, Cowboy’s, Western Oasis, Big Four Roadhouse and the Coca-Cola stage. (Now at a new location near the Erlton Stampede C-Train station.)
You can still expect lines at the 'Mousetrap', 'Zipper' and 'Log ride' as well as the strangest midway food this side of the world. Pick something on a stick and expect options ranging from deep-fried Oreo mini doughnuts to Bad Breath Lemonade.
The Calgary Stampede runs until July 17.