Summer is finally here and in full swing.
This July, there are tons of things to do to enjoy this season, and lots of those things are absolutely free to attend.
Entry into Stampede Park does cost money, but the Calgary Stampede is a city-wide event. Each day of the Stampede, the Calgary Stampede Downtown Attractions Committee hosts events at Fluor Rope Square in Olympic Plaza along Stephen Avenue.
Start out your day of enjoying the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth right with a hot breakfast of flapjacks and bacon cooked on griddles in the back of authentic Chuckwagons. The Chuckwagon breakfast feeds over 30 thousand visitors over the week, and as much as 500 pounds of bacon gets cooked each morning of the event.
Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8 Avenue SE
When: July 8 and July 10 to 15 8:15 am to 10:30 am
Six contestants are chosen from the audience in advance of the event. These contestants are judged on their ability to stomp a cowboy hat in three categories: mash factor, originality and style. Contestants have 30 seconds to destroy the hat, which (thankfully) is provided. The daily winners get a certificate for a cowboy hat, and return on Saturday the 15th to compete for the Grand Prize, a championship silver buckle.
Where:Olympic Plaza, Fluor Rope Square, 228 8 Avenue SE
When: July 8 and July 10-15, 10:05 am
Ever considered square dancing? Well even if you haven’t, you can try it out for free at Stephen Avenue Walk. Experience is unnecessary. Thanks to Calgary Stampede volunteers, anybody can learn how to square dance!
Where: Stephen Avenue Walk, 340 8 Avenue SW
When: July 8 and July 10 to 15 from 10 am to 12 pm
Representatives of the five First Nations of Treaty 7 will parade on horseback from 1st Street SW along 9th Avenue to Fluor Rope Square, then to 4th Avenue SW to stop at the Westin Hotel. The nations represented are:
Where: 9th Avenue at 1st Street SW to Fluor Rope Square to Westin Hotel
When: July 8 and July 10-15 from 11:30 am to 12 pm
The first ever Cenovus Family Day is taking place this weekend on Sunday, July 9. To celebrate the Calgary Stampede entrance will be free from 8 am to 12 pm along with a complementary Stampede breakfast for the first 25,000 people!
Where: Calgary Stampede Grounds – 1410 Olympic Way SE
When: Sunday, July 9 from 10 am to 12pm
A bit of a drive away but still in our neighbourhood, special guests from Airdrie’s Iron Horse Park will be at Banff’s Cave and Basin National Historic Site to offer train rides around the historic pool deck. There will also be dozens of model train sets made from lego that you can check out.
Where: Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff – 311 Cave Avenue, Banff
When: July 7 to July 8 from 10 am to 5 pm
Leigh McAdam is an author and popular blogger who has traveled through every province and territory and is the next speaker for the My Sporting Life, Our Canada series hosted by Sporting Life Calgary in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation.
Where: Sporting Life, Southcentre Mall – 100 Anderson Road SE
When: July 8, 1 pm
Live performances, interactive displays, nature walks and more family friendly activities await at this free event. You can bring the whole family to celebrate Alberta’s natural areas while learning how to respect and protect our provincial parks.
Where: Bow Valley Ranch, Fish Creek Provincial Park, 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE
When: July 15 from 11 am to 4 pm
In the heart of downtown Calgary there will be a family friendly celebration of Latin American culture through a festival of multicultural arts and entertainment. Fiestaval Calgary will be a great opportunity to encourage multiculturalism and support Calgary’s Latin community.
Where: Olympic Plaza – 228 8 Avenue SE
When: July 21 to 23 from 11 am to 11 pm
These events don’t have any specific dates or times attached to them, but if you have the supplies, these won’t cost you anything extra.
Hiking is one of Canada’s favourite pastimes, and the Rocky Mountain hikes of Alberta are the envy of hikers around the globe. Make sure you have proper footwear, sun protection, and bring plenty of water.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Parks Canada is offering a Discovery Pass that provides free admission to every Canadian National Park from coast to coast to coast.
This urban village is a favourite haunt for many Calgarians. Everything from tattoo parlours to ice cream shops dot the streets here. Cute clothing boutiques, book stores, unique restaurants, and much more await the urban explorer.
Another favourite outdoor pastime, there are tons of places in and around Calgary that are great for a peaceful day outside. Even if you don’t have supplies and a license, these are relatively inexpensive to get.
Armed with these free things to do, get out there and have a great July!