Calgary Stampede organizers are eagerly awaiting the return of the wagon tarp auction Tuesday night after a two-year hiatus.

This year marks the first time the event has taken place since 2019.

“We’re thrilled that wagon racing is back at the Calgary Stampede for 2022, and we’re very excited for the Canvas Auction,” said Calgary Stampede spokesperson Kristina Barnes.

“We created this to be a Charlie Major after-auction party. Really, it’s the traditional Stampede countdown kickoff.”

The tarp auction will take place in the Big Four Building at Stampede Park and will, for the first time, be open to the general public.

The canvas auction is widely regarded as a barometer of the health of Calgary’s economy, as many of the sponsors who pay to have their companies represented on the wagons are key players in the oil and gas industry in Calgary. city.

In 2019, the auction raised approximately $3.2 million for 36 cart drivers.

There are just 27 riders this year, and organizers say they’re not sure what to expect.

“What we’ve learned over the past two years is that we really can’t predict anything,” Barnes said. “The nature of the auction is that there are so many unknowns.”

“We’re very optimistic. We have some great people assigned to bid and we know the drivers have worked very hard to meet people and work to establish potential partnerships.”

For drivers, returning to competition at the Stampede means everything.

“It’s really important for us to be part of an event like this in our careers and in our sport,” said Todd Baptiste.

“It’s going to be able to help us keep the sport going, it’s going to help us plan for next year, and just to be part of it again, it’s been too long since I’ve been away.”

The Tuesday canvas auction takes place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

More information can be found on the Calgary Stampede website.

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