Since 10 out of 12 months in Alberta are plagued by outrageous snow and cold, we spend our entire year anticipating the summer, when “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”—Calgary Stampede—takes place.
Essentially Calgary’s Coachella, the celebration of music and rodeo takes place at Stampede Park from July 7 to 16 this year. I can’t express how unbelievably ready I am to spend the next week eating foods that probably shouldn’t be deep-fried, enjoying tons of my favourite musical artists live and going on enough carnival rides to keep me dizzy for days.
If you plan on visiting the Calgary during Stampede you’ve got to do it right—and in style. Here’s a look at what I’ll be doing (and wearing!) at this year’s Stampede.
8 a.m. I’m channelling my inner “yee-haw” spirit in a red flannel and some Daisy Dukes from Bluenotes. But I’m passing on the cowboy boots for today and rocking some comfy booties from Spring—and topping it all off with a good ol’ cowboy hat, of course. My sister Elena is my fave Stampede companion, so I grab her and we start our day bright and early (with the help of Red Bull) at one of the free breakfasts offered all around the city. Nothing like pancakes to kick off the Stampede.
12 p.m. If I’m being honest, 95 percent of the reasons I attend Stampede are food-related. Trust me, they do junk food like you’ve never seen. From mini-donuts to almost anything deep-fried, the Stampede has it all. And this year they’ve announced many new foods at the Midway. I’m super excited to try the “Cereal Monster Sandwiches,” the “Cookie Dough-nes” and, dare I say it, the “Crispy Chicken Feet on a Stick.” At this point, I’m still stuffed from the Stampede pancakes but when has that ever stopped me from finding some deep-fried Oreos? I’ll spend the next few hours throwing my money at anything with sprinkles.
3 p.m. Time for some rides! We head over to the Midway to see how well I can keep down my snacks. Where do we start? Well, the ferris wheel, of course! And we can’t miss my personal favourite, “Mach 3,” the 37-metre, 360-degree spinner. Something about being tossed about and feeling like you’re on the brink of death is super appealing to me.
7 p.m. After congratulating ourselves for not puking on any of the rides, we leave the park grounds and grab a quick bite to eat downtown before heading back for the concerts at the Coca-Cola Stage. I’m always down for a bite at Naina’s Kitchen (121 17th Ave. SW), one of my favourite places to grab a delicious burger downtown. Although you can get burgers on the Stampede grounds, nothing beats Naina’s! I always order a Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Burger and side of poutine.
9 p.m. It’s now time to head over to the Coca-Cola Stage or the Stampede tent for the artists we’ve been anticipating all day. I’m super pumped to see Alessia Cara, Big Sean and Fetty Wap this year. I am the queen of having my phone die at every concert, so I made sure to pack my camera and a back-up phone charger in today’s essentials so I’d be able to capture every moment.
11 p.m. Time to refuel with a night cap at Analog Coffee (740 17th Ave. SW), which has the most delicious vanilla and caramel steamers you’ll ever taste. Then it’s off to a Stampede after party. Most clubs around the city, like Cowboys, Ranchman’s and Music Calgary will be playing the best music to keep the Stampede party going all night long! Then it’s off to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow!