North America agenda: Calgary Stampede

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The Independent Travel

This year the famous rodeo in Calgary, Alberta will be hosting special guests Prince William and his wife Catherine, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

42nd World Series of Poker (WSOP)
July 7-19
Las Vegas, Nevada

The largest and longest-running poker tournament in the world happens annually in Las Vegas at the famed World Series of Poker. More than 40 qualifying events at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino convention center are scheduled with 76,966 entrants from 117 countries (per 2010 numbers), competing for $187 million in prizes. The $1,000-$1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournaments conclude with the main event - the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Championship on July 7. The competition ends on July 19 with nine players who will play off in November. Televised on cable/satellite channel ESPN.


Calgary Stampede
July 8-17
Calgary, Alberta

This major festival of rodeo events features tournaments for bull riding, steer wrestling, roping, barrel races, bareback and other cowboy and cowgirl competitions. The festivities kick off with a parade, stage shows, races and First Nation Native American exhibitions. Since 1923, the event has grown and now attracts more than one million visitors.


41st Comic-Con International
July 21-24
San Diego, California

The Comic-Con conference of comic books, science fiction and fantasy is one of the world's largest, attracting 130,000 attendees. Sessions feature well-known artists and writers from Marvel, DC Comics and graphic novelists as well as stars of film and television with directors previewing superhero and fantasy movies and shows. A preview night takes place July 20. Other highlights of this otherworldly event are the exclusive collectibles on the exhibit floor and the masquerade. New York hosts a fall Comic-Con and WonderCon happens in San Francisco in April. Passes sold-out last December.

58th EAA AirVenture Show
July 25-31
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

America's largest annual aviation gathering attracts 700,000 enthusiasts and up to 15,000 aircraft at the Wittman Regional Airport. Also known as The Oshkosh, the event is presented by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an international organization that features homemade and vintage aircraft, exhibits, showcases of new commercial aircraft and military 'warbirds,' ultralights, and a daily aerobatics show. The airport's control tower is the busiest control tower in the world during the event.

17th Summer X-Games
July 28-31
Los Angeles, California

Three days of extreme sports action at the biggest X-Games event features BMX, skateboarding, motocross, and even rally car racing on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Hosted by sports broadcaster ESPN, the 17 events will attract more than 138,000 spectators and be telecast live from the Staples Center and surrounding venues. Also available on,, and YouTube, viewed last year by 35.4 million in the US as well as across 175 countries.

6th BlogHer Conference
August 4-6
San Diego, California

This three-day conference for women who blog attracts 3,000 attendees from around the world to the San Diego Marriott and Convention Center, to share information and opportunities, meet with brands and network with the blog community in person. Launched in 2005, BlogHer's directory includes 25,000 influential blogs covering family, feminism, food and fashion, and more, reaching 20 million visitors monthly. The Expo floor opens August 4, and panels cover topics from Twitterholics to Mobile Multimedia.

57th Newport Jazz Festival
August 5-7
Newport, RI

The first-ever jazz festival in the US has featured renowned artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Jazz impresario and pianist George Wein keeps the tradition alive with Wynton Marsalis, Esperanza Spaulding, Al DiMeola's World Sinfonia, Trombone Shorty, Eddie Palmieri, and singer-saxophonist Grace Kelly. It is preceded by the Newport Folk Festival with Elvis Costello and The Decemberists also located at Fort Adams State Park.

20th Lollapalooza Festival
August 5-7
Chicago, Illinois

First launched in 1991 by Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane's Addiction, Lollapalooza is an iconic American festival with its roots in the alternative music scene. This year the eight stages in Grant Park will feature headliners including Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Cee Lo Green and Muse, Arctic Monkeys, among many others.