The Calgary Stampede is known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” for good reason. For ten days in early July, Cowtown celebrates its cowboy heritage with a fun-filled festival, exhibition and the world’s richest rodeo. Beyond the official action on the Stampede grounds, the whole city gets into the spirit with countless parades, concerts, breakfasts, barbecues and endless parties where western wear the norm. Hats, boots and hay bales are everywhere, and everyone from oil company executives and waiters to shop clerks and bus drivers will greet you with a “howdy partner”- that western hospitality is legendary. The event attracts over a million visitors each year, and is one of the biggest tourist draws to the region. It all sounds kind of crazy to the uninitiated, but it’s hard not to have a blast if you let down your guard and give it a try. Cowboy curious? Check out these 10 yee-haw experiences at the Calgary Stampede.
1. Pancake Breakfasts
There’s nothing like flapjacks fresh off the griddle to kickstart the morning festivities. Shopping center parking lots, office courtyards, city parks and street plazas are brimming with free pancake breakfasts that’ll make you have to loosen your belt buckle by the end of the week. Anyone can mosey on up and grab their fill of eggs, bacon, sausages and carbs, with country music, dancing and all sorts of entertaining activities on hand.