Last year, I avoided the Calgary Stampede like the plague because there literally was a plague happening. Therefore, I didnโ€™t have any anecdotes to share. This year, I felt a bit braver and decided to take advantage of the free stuff and the discounted travel passes again. Iโ€™m not going to tell you which parks I went toโ€ฆ yet. I guess you can tell Iโ€™m good at keeping secrets. Still, I managed to get some juicy Stampede anecdotes for you to cut your teeth into. The pancake breakfast I wrote about was a whole story in its own right, and you can read it here.

The Day Before The Stampede:

Hereโ€™s what I have noticed from being in Calgary during the Stampede. Thereโ€™s an official time frame for the Stampede. This year it was from July 8-July 17. I have noticed there are some Stampede-related events starting the day before it officially starts. So, if anyone asks me, I say that the Stampede unofficially starts the day before they say it starts. There are mini-concerts before Nashville North kicks off, and there are a few pancake breakfasts and some other events.

For those of you who donโ€™t know what Nashville North is, itโ€™s the country music venue for the Calgary Stampede. Make sure when you Google it that you include Calgary Stampede with it or you will get something that is not in Calgary.

Pancake Breakfasts:

After experiencing a Stampede pancake breakfast, I was amazed at how this is a wonderful promotion for the small businesses of Calgary! Churches and community centres do pancake breakfasts for their communities too. Okay, there are some large businesses that host pancake breakfasts, but I just avoid them. Still, I would sure like to shake hands with the genius that came up with free Stampede pancake breakfasts! Having learned about marketing and promotion, itโ€™s interesting to see these small businesses get creative with promoting themselves for pancake breakfasts. I was slow-clapping OMO Teppan and Kitchen for their creativity in marketing themselves and snagging new customers in a friendly, pleasant way!

Traffic and Public Transport:

If you take public transport during the Stampede, you have to be prepared for any rerouting. Additionally, itโ€™s Roadworks Season in July, so that adds extra pressure to rerouting. Google Maps doesnโ€™t always keep up with the changes, so itโ€™s important to be creative about finding routes. Itโ€™s better to take the bus than the light rail, even though the buses are at risk of being rerouted.

The light rail runs trains every few minutes during the Stampede, but they are still completely packed like sardines in a tin! Half the train gets off at Victoria Park Stampede and the other half gets off at Erlton Stampede. Yes, Stampede Park is so large it spans TWO light rail stations!

Still, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the discounted day passes during the Stampede! Half the time during the Stampede, I will be out for the day and the other half, I will be trying to sleep it off. City noise from the Stampede goes late into the night and I found itโ€™s best to get out and exhaust myself so I am more likely to sleep right through it. If the noise wakes me up, I just think, โ€œCrazy Cowboys!โ€ and just roll over and fall asleep again.

I was walking down Macleod Trail, the main road next to Stampede Park, on Day 1. It was a TOTAL CLUSTERFUCK! Keep in mind I spent seven years living in the traffic capital of the West Coast (California). Scratch that. California is the clusterfuck capital of the West Coast! I thought nothing could surprise me, but apparently not. It wasnโ€™t so packed later, which was surprising too. Make up your mind, traffic!

Victoria Park Stampede vs. Erlton Stampede:

When I first went by both those stations on the light rail, my first impression was that Victoria Park Stampede is a creepier station than Erlton Stampede. If Iโ€™m in the area, given the choice, I go to Erlton Stampede. After living here a year, I found out Victoria Park Stampede was getting station upgrades that will be finished next year. Iโ€™m hoping that the structure will make it less creepy, but weโ€™ll see.

They did get rid of one creepy element of the station though. There was a 38-year-old ramp above the station that got demolished last October. Itโ€™s affectionately known as the Piss Ramp for reasons I donโ€™t need to elaborate on.

Anyway, Mum and I somehow found ourselves getting off at Victoria Park Stampede during the Calgary Stampede. The people on the platform were packed like sardines! All of a sudden, water dripped from the station roof and Mum said, โ€œWas that the Piss Ramp?โ€ I said, โ€œI was wondering the same thing!โ€ I think thereโ€™s a Piss Ramp ghost that is haunting the place.

You Will Always Be In Our Noses:

I canโ€™t move on to the rest of my post without mentioning the Victoria Park Stampede Piss Ramp. When it was demolished, some radio presenters did a eulogy for it. Watch it here if you donโ€™t believe me.

It was quite a culture shock for me to see this eulogy. I shared it with friends who have either lived in or visited San Francisco, New York and Berlin (aka cities where there are lots of areas that smell like piss!). It blew their minds that Calgarians would eulogize a piss ramp!

I had one question though. Were the organizers going to install more toilets at Stampede Park now that the ramp is gone? Those of you who know me know I have my little ways of getting information. So, letโ€™s just say that answer was a resounding NO!

Parade:

Okay, back to the Calgary Stampede anecdotes! It was just by chance that Mum and I caught the tail end of the parade on Day 1. We had wanted to go to a pancake breakfast, but the line was too long. Some of the photos I got from the parade were good and some were not so good.

I heard later on that the parade was led by Kevin Costner. He also did a concert at the Stampede and people were raving about it.

The energy in the city was palpable! Seeing people happy and celebrating the full return of the Stampede warmed my heart. Okay, I know the pandemic still isnโ€™t over and Iโ€™m still wearing a mask. Hereโ€™s how I would describe the energy in Calgary during the Stampede. The line, โ€œJust take a look around you. The city has gone MAD!โ€ is the perfect way to describe it!

The City Has Gone Mad!

Isnโ€™t this the most amazing taxi that you have seen! Great move Calgary!

Mosquitoes and Sunburn:

I canโ€™t do a post about Calgary Stampede anecdotes without mentioning mosquitoes and sunburn. Calgary mosquitoes and sunburn are in a league of their own. If you forget to put sunscreen somewhere that you should, the sun will find it! If Iโ€™m in California, I can recover within 1-2 days from sunburn. It takes twice as long here and you need a bucketful of skin soothing lotion with aloe vera in it! Last year was my baptism of fire with Calgary mosquitoes. I thought I had learned that I canโ€™t leave the house without bug spray even if Iโ€™m not going to a park. Apparently not. Thereโ€™s been a lot of rain this year, so there are extra mozzies out. If I forget to take a bath in bug spray before I go out, the bites make me want to take half my skin off for a week!

I can just imagine someone in Calgary who forgets their bug spray and sunscreen saying the following:

Except itโ€™s going to be, โ€œSomeoneโ€™s gotta go back and get a shitload of sunscreen and bug spray!โ€

Well, there are my Calgary Stampede anecdotes for 2022. Iโ€™m sure there will be more of them in the future! Have you been to the Calgary Stampede? Share your anecdotes in the comments!

About Author

I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.

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22 Comments

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      Thank you

      1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
        says:

        You too!

  1. WanderingCanadians โ€“ Weโ€™re a couple of Canadians who enjoy hiking, camping, diving, and spending as much time outdoors as we can. We hope our stories can help as you plan for your adventures. https://wanderingcanadians.com
    says:

    I couldnโ€™t help but laugh at your story of the Piss Ramp ghost. I canโ€™t believe that the mosquitoes are so bad that you need to wear bug spray even when wandering around the city! Yikes!! These are all helpful tips and tricks about the Calgary Stampede. Iโ€™ve never been before, but perhaps someday.

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      Well, I donโ€™t know everything about the Stampede yet. After all, I didnโ€™t go to any of the paid events. That Piss Ramp ghost had me and Mum laughing for a long time!

      1. WanderingCanadians โ€“ Weโ€™re a couple of Canadians who enjoy hiking, camping, diving, and spending as much time outdoors as we can. We hope our stories can help as you plan for your adventures. https://wanderingcanadians.com
        says:

        Thatโ€™s true. It goes to show that thereโ€™s still a lot to see and do without having to pay for any of the events.

      2. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
        says:

        Oh yeah!

  2. Monkey's Tale โ€“ Two Canadians travelling the word. Join us as we climb, trek, dive, snorkel, sight-see, and eat our way from Singapore to Sri Lanka.
    says:

    Well you did more Stampede events than I did. Only one breakfast. The mosquitoes really are bad this year arenโ€™t they!?

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      I feel sorry for the wild animals who have to put up with the mosquitoes this year! I feed the magpies every morning and I have noticed them fluffing themselves up more and trying to get rid of those little biting things! Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Pooja G โ€“ Hi there! I'm Pooja, the creator of Lifesfinewhine. I'm a historian and a freelancer. I love reading, writing, music, art and so much more!
    says:

    I had never heard of this stampede before you started sharing about it on blog posts and Iโ€™ve learnt so much from it! The pancakes are definitely a great idea and so happy you got to experience it this time!

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      Iโ€™m flattered you got so much out of my posts! If these businesses have a good marketing strategy, the pancake breakfast compliments it perfectly! If they donโ€™t, the breakfast falls flat. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Pooja G โ€“ Hi there! I'm Pooja, the creator of Lifesfinewhine. I'm a historian and a freelancer. I love reading, writing, music, art and so much more!
        says:

        Absolutely agree and my pleasure!

  4. Rosaliene Bacchus โ€“ Los Angeles - California - USA โ€“ I was born in Guyana, a former British colony on the northern coast of the South American continent. As the only English-speaking country on the continent, Guyana's historical, cultural, and economic development is linked with the Caribbean Region and is a founding member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 1987, I migrated with my husband and two sons to Fortaleza, capital of the northeastern State of Ceara in Brazil. For fourteen years, I worked as an import-export manager. My sons and I migrated to Los Angeles, Southern California in the USA, in October 2003. After migrating to the USA, I started writing articles about international trade issues and US-Brazil trade, as well as fictional short stories. As a form of self-therapy, I began working on a novel. You can learn about my journey as a writer on my authorโ€™s website. My debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, was released in August 2019. You can learn more, read reviews, and purchase a copy on my authorโ€™s website at Under the Tamarind Tree: A Novel by Rosaliene Bacchus. My second novel, The Twisted Circle, the story of a young nunโ€™s journey to self-determination in a patriarchal church, was released in August 2021. I am currently working on my first book of creative non-fiction.
    says:

    What a way to get back to being outdoors again with other people!

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      It sure is! Things were back to normal this year, but now with BA5, we arenโ€™t sure if thatโ€™s a good thing. Everyone here knows that the STI rate jumps because of the Stampede. Now the question is, what is going to be higher? The STI rate or BA5? Or, even monkeypox considering one of the ways of transmission? Thanks for commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. kagould17 โ€“ Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career forโ€ฆโ€ฆretirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my โ€œto-doโ€ hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.
    says:

    Everyone was just waiting for school to be over and the Stampede to start, so they could party. Looks like things worked out pretty well, based on the lineups. We have been to Stampede a couple of times and have no need to go further. Not really rodeo or C & W fans in any event. Hope the festivals and summer experience continues for a bit, but wish the mossies would go away. They are hungry. Thanks for sharing. Stay well. Allan

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      I have a moral issue with torturing animals anyway, but I do like taking advantage of the free events. I hate the mosquitoes this year! Thanks for commenting and have a lovely weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. kagould17 โ€“ Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career forโ€ฆโ€ฆretirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my โ€œto-doโ€ hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.
        says:

        Iโ€™m with you on animal rights. The time for making animals an unwilling part of our entertainment is done. That is why we do not go to rodeos. All that being said, I come from a farm and ranch background and realize the heritage of the matter. We outlived the Klondike Days theme here and the event is poorer for lack of continuity, but the times, they are a changing. Stay well and stop feeding the mosquitoes. ๐Ÿค ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ๐ŸฆŸ

      2. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
        says:

        I do try to understand all sides of these things, and thanks for sharing that side of it. Iโ€™ll try not to feed the mosquitoes, but I learned that having a lot of potassium in my blood (which I do have) is a haven for mosquitoes, unfortunately. Stay cool as well!

  6. BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES โ€“ Canada โ€“ Thanks for stopping by! We are perpetual just-about-to-retire campervanners trying to travel as often as we can. Check out our blog and come along for a trip or two. UPDATE: We finally retired!
    says:

    I had no idea about the mosquitoes in Calgary! Thanks for the heads up!

    1. Third Culture Kid โ€“ I am a Third Culture Kid who has lived in five different countries: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ/๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ. I moved to Canada in October 2020 and I started blogging about adjusting to life here. Follow my blog for tips on expat life, stories about my life as a Third Culture Kid, features on where I have lived, and world news.
      says:

      Youโ€™re very welcome!

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