Focus: The Calgary Stampede – 100 years in Cow Town!

Billed as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, The Calgary Stampede is famed for turning Alberta’s largest city into one giant party zone. Carnivals, chuck wagon races, food, fares and fun galore, there is an endless amount of excitement to experience – and this year’s centennial is guaranteed to be no exception.

In addition to the usual hoopla, the 100th anniversary is focused around what organizers are calling the three pillars. First, the stampede will showcase Alberta to the world. Second it will create an experience of a lifetime. Third, it will build a lasting legacy.

Those are some lofty goals, but with a whackload of events lined up, the festivities will surely go above and beyond the projected predictions. Not sure what you’ll find? Below are some of the exciting events lined up in honour of 100 years’ worth of stampeding.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Everywhere you look, you can expect to see Centennial Cakes floating around. Booked for practically every stampede event, these sweet babies will be dished out to whoever wants them. So, keep your eyes peeled, and you’ll likely have some Calgary confection to taste!

Getting back to the Roots

A giant Canadian event just isn’t the same without a collection of authentic Roots gear to wear. With everything from customized jackets to boots, buckles, hats… and even pancake mix, you’ll find this collector’s edition memorabilia everywhere. Just make sure you don’t forget what every cowboy (and girl) needs – a big hat.

Saddle Up

There aren’t that many custom saddemakers anymore. Lucky for you, Vic Bennet, one of the most skilled hands around, has made 100 limited edition gems for people seeking a souvenir that goes beyond the norm. Signed, numbered, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, you can’t get any more cowboy than a real hand-made saddle.

The Great Canadian Grandstand Show

Every year there are shows, but this year there is THE SHOW. The 2012 TransAlta Grandstand Show, Century, featuring Paul Brandt and starring The Young Canadians is being touted as the best there has ever been. Featuring popular songs from the past 100 years of stampede merriment, Canada’s own Paul Brant will perform alongside The Young Canadians bringing the country music to a fever pitch. Not to be outdone, there will also be a ginormous finale with fireworks shooting off a three-storey birthday cake. That’s three storeys; not three tiers! The cake is so big that stage hands are wheeling it in with a giant convoy.

Fireworks Galore

Nothing beats setting the city skies on fire with blazing colour! Unless you do it with quadruple the fireworks power. What we mean is, during the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of the Centennial Stampede, fireworks will shoot from all four quadrants of the city, creating a skyline that you’ve never seen before. Bring your camera, because it’s sure to be the photo opportunity of a lifetime.

Be a Real Cowboy and Ride… a Rollercoaster

Named after a legendary rodeo bull that just wouldn’t quit, the “Outlaw” roller coaster is hyped up as the must-try attraction of the season. Not a fan of heights? Then you can forget the record-breaking zipline too.

Just for this year’s event, daredevils can experience the longest temporary zip line in Canada! You’ll have to climb an 80-foot tower to zip 850 feet across Stampede Park… but it’s ok. The top speed is only a measly 60 km an hour.

There’s an App for That

We can’t celebrate anything without an app. Perfect for checking out event times, buying tickets, connecting with friends, and even checking out what’s happening around you in real time, this little piece of technology is the real deal. Simply drop a pin on your location, and the app will pull up all the exciting events happening in your surrounding area.

We don’t think we need any more reasons to show you why this centennial celebration is going to be the best, but in case you need to see it to believe it, then you can book a room at our Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South and find out for yourself!

Click here for our Calgary Stampede Hot Deal:

Yee Ha Y’all

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