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Stampede, Events

46 things to do at the 2018 Calgary Stampede

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Kristy Archibald Jul 04, 2018 1:47 pm 4,247

It’s officially time to welcome the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth back for yet another year of wild festivities that pay tribute to the western hospitality that runs through the veins of our city.

For 10 days straight the city comes alive with rich food, thrill-seeking rides, memorable parties, home-grown talent, exciting entertainment, and so much more! It’s a celebration of our history and a look towards the future.

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It’s no surprise that people who grew up here probably have the whole “Stampede routine” memorized. However, sometimes you need a bit of a refresher! There are certain items you simply can’t leave the house without (a cowboy hat being one of them) and there are plenty of tricks to ensure that the Stampede isn’t too hard on the wallet. However, the key to a successful day is the pre-game — you know we’re right!

We’ve put together a schedule to help you narrow down what events at the Calgary Stampede are worth your while to check out. Grab your cowboy boots, plan ahead, and make sure to have fun!

Thursday, July 5

Coca-Cola IgNITES the Night

stampede

Calgary Stampede/Facebook

What: This ultimate block-party in the midst of the Stampede midway is the perfect way to kick-off the 2018 version of the Greatest Outdoor on Earth! Check out concerts galore with the Northern Touch Allstars reuniting at the newly renovated Big Four Roadhouse, Alexisonfire on the Coca-Cola Stage, and a silent disco at the Monster Energy Compound — did someone say dance party? Don’t forget to hit up all your favourite rides, as the midway will be open until 1 am! Get a two for one admission courtesy of  Coca-cola here!

When: Thursday, July 5

Time: 5 pm to 1 am

Where: Stampede Park – 1410 Olympic Way SW

Tickets: Online, $9

STMPDR + YYCNow Present: Sneak A Peek 

What: Do a little pre-Stampede to get you in the mood for the real deal as you help raise money for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation — a more than worthy cause! Enjoy live entertainment by Steel and Timber, Fireside Music, and DJ Chris Brennan, along with a live art show, door prizes, promotional giveaways, and both live and silent auctions with killer items that you’ll definitely want to get your hands on.

When: Thursday, July 5

Time: 5:30 to 9:30 pm

Where: National on 17th – 550 17th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $30

Dallas Smith

What: He’s a Canadian country staple here in our city, but he never gets old! Come two-step the night away to his many classic tunes, along with our favourite “Sideways.”

When: Thursday, July 5

Time: 9 pm

Where: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall – 9615 Macleod Tail SE

Tickets: Online, $50 to $60

Friday, July 6

Catch the 2018 Stampede Parade

What: This yearly spectacle will surely not disappoint as it takes over downtown Calgary and leads us into the 106 Calgary Stampede. You won’t want to miss this year’s parade marshal, Mark McMorris. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Mark is one of the most decorated and successful athletes in competitive snowboard history. Join him as he leads this iconic parade and kicks off this year’s festivities!

When: Friday, June 6

Time: 9 am

Where: see parade route here

Admission: Free admission to Stampede Park from 11 am to 1:30 pm

Raw Canvas Pancake Breakfast

What: Raw Canvas is Calgary’s laid-back art studio that offers food, drinks, cooking classes, and art classes. This year, they will be hosting their third annual Stampede breakfast on July 6. Come in with a design or your favourite image, and artists at Raw Canvas will re-create it in food form for you. You will also get to decorate your creation with all the fixings.

When: FridayJuly 6

Time: 7:30 am to noon

Where: Raw Canvas — 1130 Kensington Road

Price: Free

Stampede Mega Crawl 

Calgary stampede

Dancing at the Calgary Stampede (Calgary Stampede/Facebook)

What: Hit up all the very best country stomping locations in one night! Pro Tip: Pace yourself!

When: July 6, 7, 13 and 14

Time: 5:30 or 6:30 pm (varies per day)

Where: Hudsons Downtown, Knoxville’s, Commonwealth, Ranchman’s and more!

Tickets: Online, $30

The Watchmen 

What: Come see this Canadian alternative rock band from the ’90s tear up the stage and kick stampede off at the Wildhorse Saloon.

When: Friday, July 6

Time: 4 pm

Where: Wildhorse Saloon – 500 6th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $20

Saturday, July 7

2nd Annual Vegan Pancake Breakfast

What: Vegans in Calgary, you’re in luck. While Stampede can be a particularly tricky time for vegans to find plant-based fun food, CalgaryVegan will host a pancake breakfast that everyone can be included in. Come and hang out with your fellow vegans and devour some fresh organic fruits, vegan-friendly pancakes, and vegan sausages.

When: SaturdayJuly 7

Time: 9 am to noon

Where: Bridgeland Riverside Community Association — 917 Centre Avenue NE

Price: Free

Aaron Goodvin 

What: This country music newbie (as of 2015) has been playing the stage since he was 12-years old. Let’s give him a warm welcome and make sure no one “crashes his party.”

When: Saturday, July 7

Time: 12 pm

Where: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall – 9615 Macleod Tail SE

Tickets: Online, $30

Stampede on 17th 

What: Take a break from the grounds and head over to 17th for some #YYC country fun! Enjoy a Stampede breakfast for the first 500 people, live entertainment, games, dancing, a mechanical bull, and so much more!

When: Saturday, July 7

Time: 10 am to 4 pm

Where: Tomkins Park

Admission: FREE

Stampede Breaky and Train Tours

What: Start the day off with a delicious pancake breakfast and then enjoy a one-hour train ride through big sky country in the Alberta prairies.

When: Saturday, July 7

Time: 9 am

Where: Aspen Crossing – Box 30 Mossleigh, AB

Admission: $25

Sunday, July 8

AGAHAN Filipino Style Breakfast

What: If you’re tired of the classic North American breakfast, you should definitely check out this unique Agahan Filipino style breakfast. It is hosted by Fiesta Filipino, the biggest cultural festival representing the Filipino community of Calgary and the entire province of Alberta. There will be fried rice, pandesal (Filipino bread rolls), Filipino sausages, and scrambled eggs.

When: SundayJuly 8

Time: 7 to 10 am

Where: Pacific Hut Parking Lot — 3231 17th Avenue SE

Price: Free

Kygo

Calgary Stampede

Kygo/Facebook

What:  You know he’s going to get you up on the dance floor — don’t even try to deny it!

When: Sunday, July 8

Time: 6 pm to 2 am

Where: Cowboys Music Festival –421 12th Avenue SE

Tickets: Online, $79 to $161

Steel Panther with Special Guests 

What: They played a sold out show in 2015 and they are back to do it again this year! Come party with Steel Panther, rock the Saloon, and celebrate well into the night.

When: Sunday, July 8

Time: 6 pm

Where: Wildhorse Saloon – 500 6th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $49

Blue Rodeo with Colter Wall, Whitehorse, Lindi Ortega, and Mike Plume

What: If you missed Blue Rodeo at last year’s Folk Fest, you’ve finally got another chance to see them!

When: Sunday. July 8

Time: 3:30 pm

Where: Big Four Roadhouse –1801 Big Four Trail SE

Tickets: Online, $92

Monday, July 9

The 36th Annual Cowboys VS. Firefighers Charity Pole Climb

What: Ladies, we know you’ll enjoy this one! This annual event features 10 Pro Rodeo Contestants that go up against 10 Calgary Fireighers in a timed flag pole climb. All the proceeds from the event will go directly towards The CPRA Cowboy Benefit fund and the Firefighter Charitable Society.

When: Monday, July 9

Time: 6 pm

Where: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall – 9615 Macleod Tail SE

Tickets: Complimentary with admission

Emerson Drive 

What: With well-known hits such as, “The Extra Mile,” “If You Were My Girl,” “That Kind of Beautiful,” and, their most recent, “Just Got Paid,” you’ll be stomping your feet and singing along till the wee hours of the morning with Emerson Drive.

When: Monday, July 9

Time: 5 pm

Where: Wildhorse Saloon – 500 6th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $20

Tuesday, July 10

Brett Kissel

Calgary Stampede

Brett Kissel/Surrey Canada Day

What: This Albertan Heart Throb is back again! He will surely have your heart after hearing his romantic country beats and a night full of dancing.

When: Tuesday, July 10

Time: 7 pm

Where: Knoxville’s Tavern – 840 9th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $25

The Trews 

What: Hailing from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, this Canadian rock band knows a thing or two about getting a crowd amped up! Come see them tear up the stage of the Wildhorse Saloon.

When: Tuesday, July 10

Time: 6 pm

Where: Wildhorse Saloon – 500 6th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $20

Bootleggin’ Breakfast 

What: The largest indoor corporate party during Stampede! This legendary breakfast is held at the Westin and features a unique VIP performance by a Canadian Country Music start — last year was Gord Bamford and Adam Gregory. Who will it be this year? This one-day ticket includes a VIP Stampede breakfast, six VIP drinks, special performances from award-winning musicians, and VIP entrance to the afterparty at the Cowboys Tent. This year all the proceeds will go to support Zero Kids, a non-for-profit working to feed hungry kids and provide them with a healthy meal or snack to get them through the school day.

When: July 10 and 12

Time: 8 am

Where: The Westin – 320 4th Avenue SW

Tikets: Online, $145 to $2,000

Wednesday, July 11

2018 Buckin’ Breakfast 

What: Enjoy an amazing all-you-can-eat buffet as you tap your toes to amazing live entertainment and even hit the dance floor for some early morning moves as you help raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Afterward, board a bus and head to Wildhorse Saloon to continue the party!

When: July 11 and 13

Time: 8 am to 1 pm

Where: The Palace Theatre – 219 8th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $125 to $6,000

Freelance Stampede Party

What: Calling all self-employed workers, freelancers, and small business owners! The Stampede Office Party is one of the most looked forward to events in any office or corporate atmosphere — but what if you don’t have an office? We got you! Join Calgary bloggers Kait Kucy and Mike Morrison for the first ever Freelance Stampede Party. Hob-knob with Calgary’s movers and shakers as you celebrate Stampede in the most traditional way possible!

When: Wednesday, July 11

Time: 12 pm to 2 am

Where: Cowboys Music Festival Tent – 421 12th Avenue SE

Tickets: Online, $50

Roundup Music Fest 

What: Come see The Wallflowers, Train, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Goo Goo Dolls. Now that’s a stacked line-up if we have ever seen one!

When: Wednesday, July 11

Time: 3 pm

Where: Shaw Millennium Park – 1220 9th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $103

BC/DC

What: For those who love to rock, join BC/DC, as they pay tribute to the greats who started it all, AC/DC.

When: Wednesday, July 10

Time: 6 pm

Where: Wildhorse Saloon – 500 6th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $20

Buckn’ Breakfast

Calgary Stampede

Shutterstock

What: It is time to book your tables for Buckn’ Breakfast, one of the best Stampede parties in town. This year, the organizers will host this event at one of the greatest entertainment venues in Calgary, The Palace Theatre. With the VIP ticket, you can get a free breakfast buffet and six drink tickets. The best part of the event will start at 1 pm when the organizers load everyone onto the buses and head off to the Wildhorse Saloon’s Stampede tent, where you can dance until the sun goes down.

When: July 11 and July 13

Time: 8 am

Where: The Palace Theatre — 219 8th Avenue SW

Price:$125 or $131

Thursday, July 12

Kip Moore

What: This country heartthrob just dropped his latest album! Hear it for the first time live at the Cowboys Tent!

When: Thursday, July 12

Time: 7 pm to 2 am

Where: Cowboys Music Festival Tent –421 12th Avenue SE

Tickets: Online, $60

The Dead South 

What: Originally from Regina, this folk-bluegrass band always steals the show when they hit the stage!

When: Thursday, July 12

Time: 7 pm

Where: Knoxville’s Tavern – 840 9th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $25

Buckcherry 

What: You know it’s going to get a little cray when Buckcherry is in the house!

When: Thursday, July 12

Time: 10 pm

Where: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall (Event Tent) – 9615 Macleod Tail SE

Tickets: Online, $30 to $40

Friday, July 13

Lil Hank Williams 

What: He started in Walmart and now he’s about to play the Cowboy’s Music Festival — that’s an impressive journey when you’re only 10 years old! Come see him toddle and do his thing as he honours the legend of Hank Williams!

When: Friday, July 13

Time: 9 pm

Where: Cowboys Music Festival –421 12th Avenue SE

Tickets: Regular admission to the tent

Brad Paisley 

What: He’s a country classic and he’s been visiting Calgary since the very start of his career! Spend an evening with the one-and-only Brad Paisley and get a true taste of country both new and old. Plus, he’s an unreal guitar player — you’re in for a treat!

When: Friday, July 13

Time: 7:30 pm

Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE

Tickets: Online, $74 to $252

The Oxford Stomp 

What: Come celebrate 30 years of the Oxford Stomp! See the Skydiggers, Barney Bentall, John Fogerty, and Melissa Etheridge.

When: Friday, July 13

Time: 3 pm

Where: Shaw Millennium Park – 1220 9th Avenue SW

Tickets: Online, $99

Saturday, July 14

Luke Bryan 

Calgary Stampede

Facebook

What: Come shake-it with the man that shakes it the best!

When: Saturday, July 14

Time: 7:30 pm

Where: Scotiabank Saddledome – 555 Saddledome Rise SE

Tickets: Online, $115 to $352

Jason Benoit 

What: Jason Benoit recently released his new single, “Slow Hands” and we can’t wait to hear it on the stage at Ranchman’s!

When: Saturday, July 14

Time: 6 pm

Where: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall (Event Tent) – 9615 Macleod Tail SE

Tickets: Online, $15

Sunday, July 15

Bill Talent

What: Calling all ’90s kids — get ready as your favourite Canadian Rock Band closes out the Stampede with a bang!

When: Sunday, July 15

Time: 7 to 11 pm

Where: Coca-Cola Stage – 1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: FREE

MARSHMELLO

What: The famous white marshmallow, aka Christopher Comstock, is hitting the Cowboys Music Festival for a night electronic, house, trap. The dance floor will surely be lit!

When: Sunday, July 15

Time: 6 pm to 2 am

Where: Cowboys Music Festival –421 12th Avenue SE

Tickets: Online, $65 to $79

Any Day During Stampede

Fluor Rope Square

What: This yearly Downtown Classic will be hitting Downtown Calgary once again for days filled with western Calgary classics! Begin the day off with a bacon pancake served fresh off the Chuckwagon and enjoy Stampede-style entertainment, including marching bands, dancers, singers, fiddlers, and more! Expect the regular activities such as square dancing, First Nations Parade, and an Old Time Rigs display, but new to this year is Movie Night in the Square. In the evening of Saturday, July 7, you will have the opportunity to watch an old western flick under the stars. They will begin with “The Travelling Mabels” and end with “The Magnificent Seven!”

When:

July 9 to 13: 8:15 am to 1 pm

July 7 and 14: 8:15 am to 12 pm

July 7: 6 pm to 9 pm

Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8th Avenue SE

Admission: FREE

The BellLive Series at the King Eddy 

What: Looking for a new spot to scout out some good live music? Put on your boots and head to the historic King Eddy that will be transformed into a pop-up country bar for the duration of Stampede. See stars like The Abrams, Ken Stead, Kira Isabella, and more. Don’t forget to hit up the rooftop patio!

When: July 6 to 15

Time: 7 pm

Where: The King Eddy – 438 9th Avenue SE

Tickets: Online, $45 or $50 at the door

Zipline through the grounds

calgary stampede

Woman ziplining over the Calgary Stampede (Calgarystampede.com)

What: The 2018 Calgary Stampede is set to be the wildest, fastest, and most exciting one yet, as another adrenaline-inducing addition has been announced for this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Zipliners will travel up to 50 km/h as they zoom over the Midway from the Grandstand Court to a platform near the BMO Centre. From there, they will strap into yet another zipline, with this one landing them safely near the Kids’ Midway.

When: July 6 to 15

Where: The Stampede Grounds –  1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: Can be purchased near the Monster Compound, $50

The Coca-Cola Stage Headliners

What:

  • Alexisonfire – July 5
  • The Dirty il – July 5
  • Elle King – July 6
  • Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine – July 6
  • Banners – July 6
  • Broken Social Scene – July 7
  • Yukon Blonde – July 7
  • Daniel Caesar – July 8
  • Busty and the Bass – July 8
  • The Rural Alberta Advantage – July 9
  • Phantogram – July 9
  • Our Lady Peace – July 10
  • Grandson – July 10
  • Sheryl Crow – July 11
  • Caitlyn Smith – July 11
  • Walk off the Earth – July 12
  • Jocelyn Alice – July 12
  • Virginia to Vegas – July 13
  • Lights – July 13
  • Too Many Zooz – July 14
  • The Static Shift – July 15
  • The Funk Hunters – July 14
  • Billy Talent – July 15

Where: The Coca Cola Stage –  1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: Included in Stampede Admission

Nashville North Headliners

What:

  • Gord Bamford – July 5
  • Petric – July 6
  • Meghan Patrick – July 7
  • Randy Houser – July 8
  • LOCASH – July 9
  • The Road Hammers – July 10
  • James Barker And – July 11
  • The Washboard Union – July 12
  • The Dungarees – July 13
  • River Town Saints – July 14
  • Leaving Thomas – July 15

Where: Nashville North – 1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: Included in admission to the Stampede or purchase Buck The Line passes for a VIP experience, $112

The Cowboys Music Festival

What:

  • This.Is.Budville – Friday, July 6
  • Kygo – Sunday, July 8
  • G-Eazy – Monday, July 9
  • Old Dominion – Tuesday, July 10
  • Steven Tyler – Wednesday, July 11
  • Lanco – Wednesday, July 11
  • Kip Moore – Thursday, July 12
  • DJ Pauly D – Thursday, July 12
  • Big and Rich – Friday, July 13
  • Marshmello – Sunday, July 15

Where:

Tickets: Online, $20 to $100

Attend a Stampede Breakfast 

Calgary stampede

Vegan Stampede Breakfast (@calgaryvegan/Instagram)

What: It’s nearly impossible to make it through Stampede and not take part in at least one of the MANY Stampede Breakfasts happening all around the city. But, let’s be honest, who would willingly pass up free pancakes, bacon, and eggs?

When: Throughout stampede

Where: In and around Calgary

**See the full Stampede Breakfast Calendar here.

The Grandstand Show: 50 

What: This iconic show is celebrating the milestone of being the staple of the Calgary Stampede for 50 years! This show is always a highlight and a must-see every year for Stampede-goers. This year they will be showcasing elements that have contributed to its success over the years, including performances from The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede, world-class acrobats, extreme athletes, musicat performances, and more. The night will come to an end with an impressive nightly firework display that will end the day’s festivities off with a bang!

When: July 6 to 15

Time: 7:45 pm

Where: Stampede Grandstand – 1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: Ticketmaster, $43 to $140

GMC Rangeland Derby

What: Aaaaaand they’re off! When the ground starts pounding you know the chucks are on their way!

When: July 6 to 15

Time: 7:45 pm

Where: Stampede Grandstand – 1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: Ticketmaster, $43 to $140

The Rodeo

What: Stampede just wouldn’t be Stampede if it weren’t for the rodeo events! Calgary has a long and proud history of cowboy culture, and you can’t get any more cowboy than taking part in a rodeo – or, at the least, watching from a safe distance. This heart-pounding, world-class show never ceases to entertain as cowboys and cowgirls compete for $2 million in prize money. A few events you can expect to see is Barrel Racing, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Bull Riding, and more.

When: July 6 to 15

Time: 7:45 pm

Where: Stampede Grandstand – 1410 Olympic Way SE

Tickets: Ticketmaster, $23 to $110+

Grab a “Bats in the Belfry” from The Nash 

What: For the length of Stampede The Nash will be featuring this very special cocktail called the “Bats in the Belfry.” It features chocolate marshmallows, banana beignets, and cold brew — is this a dessert or a drink? This is the perfect energizer to get you pumped up and ready to hit the grounds!

When: July 6 to 15

Where: The Nash – 926 11th Street SE

See also

5148847074db4f1c458536d09081169b?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Kristy Archibald
Kristy is a creative Communications and PR strategist, freelance writer, coffee enthusiast and wine connoisseur who has a strong passion for travelling, art, style and fashion. Check out her blog (FloralandBows.com) for a taste of YYC through the lens of a refined, sassy, PR girl working on being a successful #girlboss.

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