Top 10 Calgary Stampede Activities We Recommend
Whenever I travel to a foreign country and tell people I am from Calgary, Alberta, more often than not a conversation has ensued about three main things: our oil and gas sector, the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, and of course, the Calgary Stampede.
Since the first show in 1912, the Stampede has been this city’s pride and joy and in present times attracts more than 1 million visitors every year.
For ten days locals and visitors alike can enjoy one of the world’s largest rodeos, chuckwagon races, concerts, tent parties and so much more.
Let this be your guide for how to make the most of “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”!!
Dress the Part
It is part of the Calgary Stampede experience to be in Western wear. Even corporations encourage their employees to partake in the Western spirit by giving up business suits for jeans.
Your ensemble should include at least one of the following:
- plaid long sleeve shirt
- shiny belt buckle
- cowboy hat
Lammle’s and Riley & McCormick’s are great specialty stores for Western gear.
For the budget-conscious people, peruse the aisles of Value Village, Salvation Army and costume shops for used clothing.
During Stampede, the aroma of pancake and bacon fills the air of in our city with the notorious pancake breakfasts, a long-standing tradition for over 90 years. Learn more at 16 Things You Didn’t Know About the Stampede today.
The breakfasts are hosted by corporations, community groups, politicians and churches and are either free to the public or invitation only.
For a listing of pancake breakfasts in our city you can check out the smart phone app called flap jack finder!
Engage in Festivities
The Calgary Stampede parade is the official kick off to the ten days of festivities. Thousands of spectators descend to the downtown core.
The parade features over hundreds of spectacular floats, bands, riders and celebrities. There’s also representation from different cultural associations which showcases the diversity in our city.
Every day in the afternoon there is also a live powwow performed at Indian Village, just another one of the unique cultural festivities to check out at the greatest outdoor show on Earth!
Oh, and don’t forget to see the nightly firework show at least once – they go off after the Grandstand Show usually around 11:00 pm.
The world-renowned rodeo is a MUST-SEE during Stampede.
You can choose from a variety of events to watch: steer wrestling, tie down roping, saddle bronc, ladies barrel racing and bareback riding.
The chuckwagon races are another popular event where drivers in a chuckwagon lead a team of Thoroughbred horses around a track.
The first races were held as a spectator sport at the Calgary Stampede in 1923!!
Enjoy the Rides
The Calgary Stampede midway features traditional amusement park rides and carnival games including the Westjet Skyride and Outlaw, the newest roller coaster. Riders will blast out of chutes, dipping and twisting similar to a rodeo bull.
Also, brace yourself for the longest temporary zip line in Canada.
Daredevils will climb an 80-foot tower and zip 850 feet across Stampede Park. This is definitely not for the faint of heart!
The midway is also known for its endless food vendors that will satisfy any over-the-top sweet and savoury craving.
Tempt your taste buds with the newest and intriguing concoctions: deep fried Wagon Wheels, deep fried KoolAid, bacon sundae funnel cake and much more if your stomach and heart can handle it.
Here’s a list of other staples to include in your gluttonous adventures at the Top 10 Calgary Stampede Snacks in 2014.
Go to the Live Performances
The Calgary Stampede is an internationally-recognized event and it attracts many musical artists from all genres.
At the Coco-Cola stage, there is something for everyone including kids and adults and its included in the price of your park admission!
For the die-hard country music fan, you will not be disappointed by the line up at Nashville North.
The TransAlta Grandstand Show is a nightly spectacle combining a variety show, comedy act and acrobatics in one.
The show ends off with an extraordinary fireworks show that light up our city.
You haven’t experienced the Stampede until you’ve seen the awesome Grandstand Show!!
Learn the History
Within Stampede Park, you will find Indian Village showcasing the history, traditions and lifestyle of the First Nations people.
Check out the grandiose tipis and even partake in the tipi raising contest.
Other activities include dancing, pow-wow, arts and crafts exhibits and cooking and meat cutting demonstrations.
Be sure to try a Bannock, a type of flat bread commonly found in Native cuisine.
The Calgary Stampede wouldn’t exist without the dedication and commitment of the thousands of volunteers.
There is no better way to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity than devoting your time and talent, find out more at the Calgary Stampede Volunteers today.
What is your #1 must-do during Stampede? Leave us a comment below and let us know! Until next time check out these 21 Cool Number Facts on the Calgary Stampede today and make sure to have a ton of fun this year!
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