Guide to Calgary Stampede 2018

Grab your lasso and cowboy hat because the Calgary Stampede is finally here! From July 6- 15, Calgary will be transformed into the Wild, Wild West. With a rodeo, a parade, midway, concerts, and pancake breakfasts, there seems to be excitement around every corner. Keep reading to find out how to get the most out of this year’s Calgary Stampede!

Calgary Stampede 2018

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival held for ten days in July. Known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, over one million people come from all over the world to enjoy Stampede. The Calgary Stampede is a huge part of Calgary’s heritage and culture. You can tell Stampede has arrived when you see Calgarians dressed up in cowboy hats, leather boots, and plaid. Check out our video below to find out more about Stampede!

The Basics

Every year the Calgary Stampede is kicked off with a parade that features marching bands, floats, performances, and plenty of horses. This year’s Parade will be on Friday, July 6.  The route is pictured and described below:

  1. Begins at 9th Avenue and 1st Street S.E. and travels west.
  2. Turns north at 9th Avenue and 10th Street S.W.
  3. Turns east at 6th Avenue and 10th Street S.W.
  4. Finishes at 6th Avenue and 3rd Street S.E.

A prelude featuring street performances and entertainment will begin at 7:30 am, with the actual Parade beginning at 8:55 am on 9th avenue. Free admission to Stampede Park will be offered between 11 am and 1:30 pm. Stop by after watching the Parade! If you can’t make it, CBC Television will be broadcasting the parade live from 9:00 am.

Tips
  • Use Calgary Transit – because many downtown roads will be closed on parade day, it is best to walk, bike, or take transit to get to the parade. The Calgary Transit has a great guide on using public transport during Stampede.
  • Get there early – sidewalk space is available on a first come, first serve basis. Get to the parade 30 min early or more to ensure that you get a good viewing spot!
  • Bring your own chair – there are no public seats available and the sidewalk can get uncomfortable. Bring a lawn chair or pillow to increase comfort.
  • Beat the heat – Sitting on a sidewalk during a hot day is a recipe for heat exhaustion. Drink lots of water, wear a hat, and wear sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30.
  • Charge your batteries – there will be a lot of interesting things you’ll want to remember at the parade. Make sure your camera or phone is fully charged so you don’t miss a moment!
  • Dress for the occasion – it’s by no means mandatory but part of the fun is dressing up like a cowboy! Clothing to wear: jeans, denim shirts and jackets, a cowboy hat, leather boots, plaid shirts.

The Basics

When Calgarians hear “Stampede”, they probably think of the fairgrounds that go up for ten days. The Calgary Stampede ground is basically an amusement park, boasting rides, carnival games, concerts, vendors, food, and exhibitions. Check out this guide to see a full list.

Stampede Park is open daily from 11 am to midnight. Admission prices are:

Separate tickets must be purchased to go on rides or play games at the Midway, watch the Rodeo, and gain entry to Evening Shows.

Tips
  • Bring some cash – most places accept debit and credit, but the ATM lines can get very long. Keep some cash on you to avoid the hassle.
  • Plan in advance – the best way to save money and make the most of your time at the Calgary Stampede is decide early on how you want to spend your day.
  • Check the weather – Calgary weather is known for changing quickly. Stay prepared by checking the forecast before you head out. Take special care to protect yourself from the sun!
  • Wear comfortable clothing – you’ll be doing a lot of walking in the sun, so leave your tight clothes and brand new shoes at home.
  • Come hungry – if you plan on sampling food at the Calgary Stampede, you’ll want to come on an empty stomach. Stampede Park food is very heavy and filling! Alternatively, you might want to save money by packing your own snacks and drinks.
  • Go on a Value Day – Values Days are days where you can save money on admission to the Calgary Stampede. Check out the next section.

Sneak-a-Peek

Date: Thursday, July 5

From 5:00 pm – 1:00 am, preview the Calgary Stampede! General admission is $9. Admission is free for children 6 and under.

Parade Day

Date: Friday, July 6

Free admission is being offered after the Stampede Parade from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm.

Cenovus Family Day

Date: Sunday, July 8

Free admission and pancake breakfast from 8:00 – 11:00 am.

McDonald’s Community Day

Date: Tuesday, July 10

General admission is $2 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Seniors (Ages 65+) get free admission all day long. Seniors can also get free standing room tickets for the Rodeo or Evening Show after 11:00 am. Free coffee and doughnuts will be available while supplies last.

BMO Kids’ Day

Date: Wednesday, July 11

From 8:00 – 9:00 am kids 12 and under and accompanying adults get free admission. After that, admission is $2 for kids 12 and under. Free breakfast is available from 7:00 – 9:30 am. A free Grandstand stage show will happen from 8:00 – 10:00 am.