Ten things you need to know (and accept) before you go Stampeding:
- Calgary weather is ridiculous. It’s gonna be unbearably hot, and then there is a 99% chance it’s gonna start pouring rain at some point, as if you weren’t wet enough from all the sweat. Cowboy boots are REALLY hot, and not particularly comfortable.. they are made for work after all. If you insist on wearing them, have fun, but this cowgirl gets enough of the boots on the farm! Its a common occurrence to see ladies meandering the streets in the early morning with boots over their shoulders. I choose flats or sandals to keep my feet cool and comfortable.
- Drink prices are ridiculous. You should definitely NOT sneak your own liquor into the grounds.
- Gate entrance get’s you into the grounds and midway, but the rodeo is extra. Rather than pay to sit in the stands I take advantage of the free entertainment. Mostly the concerts at the Coke Stage, but there are music venues all throughout Stampede Park.
- The midway contains culinary delights beyond your wildest dreams. Come prepared for a gut-busting combination of carnival food! My favourites include the mini doughnuts, cotton-candy, lemonade, candy apples, mozza sticks, chocolate dipped banana, and deep fried avocado. I have never left the grounds without eating myself into a state of discomfort. Click HERE for the full list of noms!
- Girls everywhere will be doing their best Daisy Duke impression. There will be an excessive amount of plaid shirts, push-up bra’s and cut-offs. Most of them look more like Jessica Simpson now… this is a trend I tend to avoid.
- Guys (well, everyone) everywhere will be doing their best cowboy impression. Don’t be fooled by the brand new wranglers or shiny cowboy boots; you might find a few real cowboys in the mix, but mostly its boys playing dress-up. 95% of people will be wearing a cowboy hat, 90% of those people never wear it again. The real cowboys there will be laughing at the city folks; the city folks will be having too good of a time to notice.
- Cabs will not be easy to come by and the C-Train is unofficially renamed “sweaty-death-tube-from-hell” but it runs all night and considering it was underwater ten days ago, we gotta give ’em some serious credit. Plus it’s cheap!
- If you do not like crowds, you’re gonna have a bad time. Accept that a ridiculous amount of people are in a relatively small space and don’t lose your friends (or your wallet)! Entrance into beer gardens and event tents can mean long-lines, so just go with the flow and don’t cut in lines (or I’ll cut you.)
- You can find almost anything you have ever seen on an infomercial in the exhibition halls. Its also really awesome for finding western clothing, jewelry, art, carvings and anything horse related.
- The best part about Stampede is how hands-on it is. Make sure to check out all the animal exhibits and mini-exhibitions. My favorite is the horse hall, I make sure to pet each one of them equally so no one gets jealous. You can see all sorts of different breeds, but my favourite is the halls full of draft horse teams, such gentle giants, I just love them.
Click the photo for more “Stampedisms” and for any other information you need go to the official page www.calgarystampede.com
I hope to see you there! xo, aiyanajane
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