How to celebrate the Calgary Stampede as a family

The greatest outdoor show on Earth kicks off on Friday, with the Calgary Stampede parade and then the entire city will be engulfed in the 10-day western festival. If you are looking to take in the festivities with the entire family, we have a few ideas and some exciting things to look forward to.

This year’s Calgary Stampede kicks off July 6 with our exhilarating Parade. Last year, we changed our Parade route, and offered free admission from 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. I’m pleased to confirm that this special invitation will continue this year! This is a big year for the Stampede, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grandstand Show, featuring The Young Canadians. Spectators from around the world will experience a made-in-Calgary, world-class show that highlights some of Calgary’s most iconic moments. [Calgary Stampede]


The Stampede Parade starts on Friday, July 6th at 9 am in downtown Calgary. The schedule and route are as follows:

  • 9 am: Parade starts at the intersection of 9th Avenue and 1st Street SE
  • 1 pm: Parade ends at the intersection of 6th Avenue and Macleod Trail
  • 11 am to 1:30pm: Free admission to the Calgary Stampede

Tips and tricks for watching the Stampede Parade can be found online here.


Stampede can be expensive, especially with the whole family going. Luckily, there are a few value days to be aware of, so you can plan your trip down:

  • Cenovus Family Day: from 8 to 11 am on Sunday, July 8th, get free entry into the grounds.
  • McDonald’s Community Day: from 10 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, July 10th, get $2 admission into the grounds. Seniors will receive free admission all day long as well.
  • BMO Kids’ Day: from 8 to 9 am on Wednesday, July 11th, kids under 12 with accompanying adults will receive free admission to the park. After that, it will be $2 entry all day for kids 12 and under.


One of the biggest attractions at the Calgary Stampede is the weird and wonderful food that is introduced year after year on the midway. This year, the attractions for food include Pop Rocks mini donuts, deep-fried banana peppers, bacon onion balls and so much more!


All day and all night at the Stampede, there is free entertainment at the Coca-Cola Stage on the grounds. The afternoons are full of kid-friendly shows and entertainment, and the evenings bring in some of the biggest names in music for memorable concerts. For a full schedule and the lineup for the stage, check out this online guide.

And be sure to check out your neighbourhood events for local listings of free Stampede breakfasts happening all over the city for the next 10 days! Yahoo, enjoy this year’s Stampede!