What to Expect When Visiting the Calgary Stampede in July

Ten days every July, Calgary hosts the world’s biggest rodeo. Since 1912, the Calgary Stampede has been the greatest outdoor show on earth, and they continue to live up to that title each year.

Come rain or shine (or even hail, this is Calgary, after all) the folks that organize this event consistently outdo themselves with high-flying shows, wacky foods, and great entertainment.

The Calgary Stampede is one big all-out party and an excuse to wear plaid and cowboy boots to work and around the city. Locals don’t get much work done, as they would rather be out dancing, watching the chucks, and eating themselves into a (pricey) food coma.

If you are planning to visit the Calgary Stampede, here are some amazing things to expect!

Visit the Grounds

It is easy to spend multiple days at the Calgary Stampede and not see everything they have to offer. From shopping, midway games and rides to rodeos, chuckwagon races, and fireworks there is fun for all ages. Grab a pamphlet at the grounds and be sure to make note of the special events and daily activities. While some events, such as the motorbike showcase, run at scheduled times each day, some events are a one-day offering, like BMO Kid’s Day. Make sure you grab a ticket to the always-entertaining evening Grandstand Show!

The one large drawback to the Calgary Stampede is cost. It is a big, expensive festival, so be sure to bring cash as you will see high prices on the Grounds.

Eat Crazy Food

Each year, the Calgary Stampede releases their list of specialty foods online about a month or so before the Stampede begins. It is a hotly anticipated list! They pride themselves on coming up with the weirdest food you’ll ever find, like deep fried cookie dough, the world’s hottest pizza, chicken feet, and Canadian bacon pickle balls! The funnel cake poutine was voted Best New Midway Food in 2017, so you can expect it will return in 2018, along with other extraordinary creations. If sweets aren’t your thing, BBQ Alley has a plethora of smoky meats to satisfy your hinger cravings.

Party All Day and Night

The celebration extends beyond the grounds and the whole city likes to get involved! There are large free pancake breakfasts all around the city, special events going on at nightclubs, corporate parties, and specialty foods at restaurants. There is even an app that lets you track all the free pancake breakfasts, so you know exactly where and when to get your fix. At nighttime, plan ahead and visit the best country bar in Calgary—Ranchman’s. Their outdoor patio is packed for the celebration and the mechanical bull is always ready for challengers. If you want to get your two-step on at the Grounds, then head to Nashville North where there is live music day and night.

The Calgary Stampede runs from July 6th to 15th in 2018, so grab your cowboy boots and