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Arts + Culture

Navigating Calgary Stampede Parade Day Like a Pro

By Mirissa Kampf

Each year, the Calgary Stampede starts off with a bang. And by “bang” we mean a grand ol’ parade right in the heart of our city. When the festivities ensue, so does the craziness.

So, how do you navigate Stampede Parade Day like a pro? With a few handy tips from your friends at Vern. That’s how.

Plan Ahead

Yeah, okay, this is some pretty standard advice, but you really need to plan ahead with Parade Day. Celebrations begin as early as 7:30 am, but much of downtown is closed, so opt for your neighbourhood friendly C-Train to get downtown at a reasonable time. Bring snacks, a blanket or chair for sitting, weather appropriate clothing, and water (hello, hydration station).

Check the Weather

Mother Nature is known to be fickle in the Stampede City, so you might need SPF 50, but you might also need an umbrella within 20 minutes. Come prepared.

Arrive Early

You’re going to need to be a morning person to catch all the action. We’ve seen spectators camp out the night before to ensure they snag a good view of the parade. If you want to catch a spot right on the sidelines (sans price tag), arrive as early as 5 am.

Book a Private Seat

There are a number of options for our friends who aren’t the early-riser types. If getting your beauty rest is high priority, book a reservation at Ruth’s Chris to enjoy a fantastic view of the parade while indulging in a nice, leisurely steak and egg breakfast. This is Stampede made easy.

The 31st Cyprian Scout Group also offers private bleacher seating for $30 per person. The best part is, all the money goes straight to youths pursuing their scout badges.