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Hot Tips for Your First Time at Stampede

This ain’t your first rodeo (Oh, wait, yes it is.) So, you’re new to the Stampede game and in the thrill of it all, you’re looking for a few tips on how to live it like a local. From food to fiestas, we’ve cached the top five things you absolutely need to do while you’re boots up, hair down in the Stampede City. You’re in for a wild couple of weeks. Prepare yourself.

Eat midway food until it hurts.

And, boy, it’ll hurt. It’s worth it, though. Promise. If you ask anyone from Calgary what you need to do during Stampede, they’re ready to draw, guns a blazin’ with this answer: eat all the food. Calgary is a city known for some amazing restaurants, but more importantly, for 10 full days, we live on a diet solely composed of deep-fried everything.

Find a new (free) pancake breakfast every morning.

Speaking of food. If you’re going to go full-tilt during Stampede, you’ll need to get down with a Stampede pancake breakfast (or ten). There are a few handy apps (like Flapjack Finder) that post every pancake breakfast happening each morning. Free breakfast for 10 days? Yes, please.

Tent hop around the city.

A good Calgary local loves a great Stampede tent. You’ll need to start early because these outdoor parties fill up quickly. From the beltline favourite Mikey’s Juke Joint tent to Wild Horse Saloon downtown, there are a number of places for you to get your two-step on under the big top, so start practicing now.

Skip the Admission and take in nightly fireworks from Scotsman’s Hill.

After a long day of Stampeding, you’ll need to take a quick five. Head up to Scotsman’s Hill for your own (almost) private viewing of the infamous nightly fireworks show.

Watch the chuckwagon races.

This is an absolute must-do. Starting nightly at 7:45 pm, you can take in nine heart-pounding heats of hooves-to-ground at the GMC Rangeland Derby. With over $1.15 million in prizing, 36 competitors, and 216 horses, it’s arguably the most heart-stopping event of the Calgary Stampede.

By Mirissa Kampf