The Urban Suites Guide to Calgary Stampede 2018

Posted on: Monday, June 25th, 2018

Coming to Stampede? Stay in Downtown Calgary for front row seats to this year’s wildest events and attractions!

Dust off your Stetson and kick up your cowboy boots, Calgary Stampede is headed back to town from July 6 to 15. This huge rodeo-slash-festival takes over Calgary each year with non-stop music, wild entertainment, weird and wonderful food, and all things Western.

Kick off your Stampede at the parade

Whether you’re a Stampede veteran or a first-timer, the famous kick-off parade is a time-honoured tradition not to be missed. On the first morning of Stampede, the 2.5-mile parade signals the start of all the fun with floats, horses, marching bands, dancers, and more. This year, the parade will begin on 9th Avenue in Downtown, and loop around to end on 6th Avenue.

Rodeo Round Up

Throughout the 10-day festival, over 100 of the world’s best cowboys, cowgirls and animals will face off in a daring display of skill and grit. Every afternoon at the Grandstand Infield, the thrilling rodeo event has Stampede goers on the edge of their seats, and competitors racing towards their place in Showdown Sunday – Rodeo’s Richest Afternoon.

The derby, dancing & death-defying stunts

Every night at 7:45 PM, the show-stopping Calgary Stampede Evening Show draws the masses into the Grandstand Arena for a massive entertainment doubleheader. The event begins with the rollicking GMC Rangeland Derby, where chuckwagon drivers furiously race around the arena. Once the last wagon has thundered over the finish line, the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show fires up the crowd with songs, dances, breathtaking acrobatics, and an extravagant fireworks finale.

Live & loud

From country crooners, to rock legends, to rising stars, the Calgary Stampede stages are graced with an insane amount of musical talent every year. At the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Virgin Mobile Stampede Concert Series includes country stars, Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley. The Coca-Cola Stage will be home to a huge line-up of international headliners, including Alexisonfire, Sheryl Crow, Broken Social Scene, Phantogram, Daniel Caesar, The Rural Alberta Advantage, and many more. The legendary Nashville North is the place to party in true country style, with the likes of Gord Bamford, Meghan Patrick, The Road Hammers, The Washboard Union, and more on stage. As always, the 5-time world champion Calgary Stampede Showband are ready to entertain each day, and the 38th Annual Stampede Talent Search is on the hunt for the stars of tomorrow.

Thrills & Spills

If you think Stampede’s rodeo is a wild ride, then just wait until you check out the Thrill Zone! This high-octane area is certainly not for the faint-hearted, with unruly rollercoasters, the freewheeling Skyscraper, and the catapulting Slingshot. You can also try your hand at driving your very own chuckwagon at the GMC Green Screen VR Booth, or test your mettle in rock-climbing, paintballing, and axe-throwing.

Let the feast begin

It’s not Stampede if you don’t start your day with some delicious pancakes – oh, and did we mention they’re FREE?! A tasty tradition for more than 85 years, every morning a team of volunteers put on the famous Stampede Breakfast in various locations across Downtown. From heat to sweet, from wacky to wow, Calgary Stampede is a culinary wonderland full of unique foods and jaw-dropping flavours. With a veritable bounty of food trucks and booths to choose from, you can easily eat your way through the entire 10-day festival. The Midway is undoubtedly the home of Stampede’s most imaginative menus, including such bizarre bites as Deep-Fried Wine and Cheese, Sushi Doughnut, Smoking Charcoal Ice Cream, 2-Foot Mini Doughnut Tower, and even a Cricket Grilled Cheese!

Of course, the best way to experience Stampede is to stay in Downtown Calgary, where you’ll be at the heart of the action in town, and only a short C-Train ride away from the Stampede Grounds. During Stampede, the C-Train conveniently runs 24-hour service, so you never have to worry about getting around the city.

Ready to find your perfect Stampede base-camp? Urban Suites have got you covered! With a number of short-term rental apartments centrally located in Downtown and just steps from public transport, Urban Suites boast the very best of Stampede just outside your door.