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Five ways to enjoy Calgary Stampede

If you're Calgary-bound this week, take in the city's signature event: Calgary Stampede.
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Called the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, Stampede welcomes visitors through July 18. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

The flapjacks are flipping and cowboy hats adorned...it's Stampede time in Calgary. Describing itself as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, and the first major event going ahead since the pandemic started, Stampede organizers hope Albertans will take in the summer event in big numbers. Here's a few ways to enjoy the Stampede, running until July 18 at Stampede Park.

Rodeo - With nine rodeo events over 10 days of action, a stop at the grandstand is a must for Stampede visitors. Called the World's Largest Outdoor Rodeo, Stampede admission includes a chance to watch afternoon rodeo every day at 1:30 p.m. World-class cowboy and cowgirl competitors face off in displays of skill and grit in signature rodeo events on horses, bulls and steers. The intensity is palpable, as every win on the field builds toward Showdown Sunday. 

Pancake breakfasts - Have you heard of a pancake breakfast crawl? It's a thing, and you can partake too, because free pancake breakfasts happen all week long at sites around the city. Did I mention it's free?

Live Shows - Every evening at 7:45 p.m., Stampede features dynamic live music and sports performances, all included with admission. The double-header Broncs After Dark and the Bell Grandstand Show feature athletes and teams as they compete in high-energy western competition, leading to a spectacular fireworks finale. The TransAlta Grandstand Show offers chuckwagons, acrobatics, singing and music--a great way to spend time on the grandstand between rodeo events. The ENMAX Corral Show dog spectacle is a family favourite too.

Midway Mania - For many, it's the midway that matters at any fair and Calgary Stampede brings it. From the big wheel to a classic roller coaster, the midway welcomes back other favourites Crazy Mouse, Wave Swinger, Zipper, Polar Express and Mega Drop too. Don't forget to try your hand at a game or two, in pursuit of a big stuffed animal, and to sample the midway eats: mini-doughnuts and foot-long hot dogs included.

First Nations culture - An important part of the Stampede, the First Nations Village along the Elbow River gives visitors an insight into the rich history of the First Nations people of the region. Enjoy tours of some of the 26 tipis, taste fresh-made bannock bread, and be left inspired by vibrant Pow Wow dancing and drumming.