Calgary Stampede – A few tips from a local Calgarian

If you’re driving into town, you will probably see a sign that says “Welcome to Calgary, Heart of the New West” and to fellow calgarians we lovingly know our city as Cow Town. Out of 365 days there are 10 in particular where the entire city comes together to illustrate old western tradition, with new western flavor— The Calgary Stampede.

The City is filled with fun and engaging events, ranging from corporate parties to fundraisers to breakfasts to the various events which happen each day on the Stampede Grounds (i.e. rodeo, grandstand show).  Amongst everything going on, here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your experience a positive one and one that could yield good networking possibilities too!

Stampede can be a great place to network in Calgary
The fact that the entire city has put away their suits and ties in exchange for plaid shirts and jeans usually relaxes corporate crowds. People are friendlier, more talkative and looking for opportunities to grow their network. Remember, businesses are still open, regardless if meetings are happening over a pint of beer, or in the boardroom, people are still engaged. In fact, opportunities to network increase due to corporate parties, opportunities to volunteer with stampede breakfasts and other events around the city. Stay engaged, create those connections, everyone has a common goal at this point, they are celebrating one of the greatest outdoor shows on earth that happens to be in our back yard!

Try your best to add a little Stampede Attire to your wardrobe for the week
From oil and gas executives, landscapers, police officers, transit officials and hospitality workers, you’ll find most dressed head to toe in their Stampede Gear showing true spirit during the 10 days. Join in the fun with Cowboy hats, boots, denim jeans, belt buckles and all the plaid you can find. Now remember, always keep it classy but definitely don’t forget to keep it fun too! (and always make sure you can bend, walk and breathe in those jeans!)

Enjoy beverages responsibly
Many of the corporate parties you will attend will have an open bar, and the business lunches in your schedule may end up being over a pint. Just remember that you are not only representing yourself, but your company when you are in a setting away from the office. Beware of your alcohol intake and definitely take advantage of the 24 hour transit system in place by the city of Calgary and/or schedule a designated driver, keys please or a cab!

If you didn’t like country music before, you do now!
Country music will be everywhere! Every radio station will be playing classic country songs, and that same music will be streaming in malls, banks, and restaurants so you might want to get familiar with some staple artists like Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson. Country can be so re-freshing and fun, so embrace it! Perhaps really get into the Stampede spirit by learning how to 2 step, the music will sound even sweeter. There are plenty of options for you to learn how to 2 step, line dance and twirl around– its really more about feeling connected to something greater, people coming together during this huge 10 day event!

Indulge a little – can you say Stampede breakfasts or mini-donuts?!
There is no such thing as too many stampede breakfasts or mini donuts!  Malls, banks, schools, community centers and more will be hosting stampede breakfast! Pancakes, sausage, bacon and eggs will be making up the most important meal of the day! At the grounds, there are rows upon rows of booths offering a variety of different foods from around the globe: from perogies to pizza, waffles and schnitzel, ice cream and bottomless bags of mini donuts, there is something for everyone! Don’t forget the mystery food! Deep fried Oreos, chips on a stick, scorpion pizza and flavored butter, treat your tastebuds to this array of food– and don’t feel guilty! You can burn off the calories walking around the park (I promise!)

Happy Stampeding & be safe!

Until next time,