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Keep Stampede Cheap

We all know someone who comes out of the Stampede tunnel completely unscathed. They didn’t lose their new iPhone, their dignity is still intact, but most importantly, they somehow still have all their money. Want to learn how to do Stampede on a dime, too? We’ve got top tips on getting you (and your bank account) out alive.

Free Pancake Breakfast

The iconic pancake breakfast is a quintessential part of Stampede, and it just so happens to be free. Use the handy app FlapJack Finder to find your nearest pancake breakfast this Stampede.

Buy Your Tickets in Advance

A great way to save this Stampede is to buy your tickets in advance. Mac’s offers 2 for 1 ground admission (with the purchase of a Coca-Cola product). And if you didn’t already love Costco (and if you really, actually don’t — shame on you, it’s a North American treasure), you will now!

Or Don’t Buy Tickets at All

This will actually save you more than a dime. Here’s a rundown of all the freebies offered by Calgary Stampede:

Sneak-A-Peek, July 6 — $9 entry 5 pm to 1 am; Free for kids 6 and under.

Parade Day, July 7 — Free entry for everyone 11 am to 1:30 pm

Cenovus Family Day, July 9 — Free for everyone 8 am to noon; Plus, first 20,000 people get a free pancake breakfast.

Canada 150 Day, July 11 — Free entry for anyone 65+

BMO Kids’ Day, July 12 — Free entry for kids 12 and under from 7 – 9 am; $2 entry for kids 12 and under 9 am on.

Snag the Cheap Seats

Nothing’s cheaper than free, and if you’re looking for the best seats in the house to catch the nightly fireworks show, take a quick urban hike up the Scotsmen Hill stairs. Another great viewing spot? Earl Grey Crescent SW in Mount Royal.

Save on Parking, Ride the C-Train

One of the easiest ways to save money this Stampede is to avoid driving, and thereby parking, downtown. The sticker on an even remotely close parking spot can run up to $25 for a few hours. Consider taking the C-Train, Calgary’s own white stallion (okay, not exactly “stallion,” but we’ve seen some upgrades in recent years). It runs 24 hours a day all Stampede long for early morning pancake breakfasts and late night post-tent dancing sessions.

Bring a Water Bottle

Okay, this seems pretty trivial, but buying a bottle of water on the Stampede grounds can be pretty pricey. For water! Ol’ frugal granny would roll in her grave if she saw the $5 price tag on the plastic-encased liquid gold. Save yourself a dime or 50 and bring your own hydration station with you.

By Mirissa Kampf