Tag Archives: parties

A Day In The Life Of The Calgary Stampede, The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth

The sun sets on yet another day in the life of the Calgary StampedeDowntown Calgary as viewed from the Elbow River, in the SW neighbourhood of Mission. Located near the Stampede Grounds, this part of town, along with Downtown and the Beltline, are ground zero for folks partaking and celebrating the Calgary Stampede.

For tourists visiting Alberta from outside Canada, when Calgary is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is its most famous festival, the Stampede. For over 100 years, this event, starting out simply as a rodeo, has come to define the city, to the chagrin of some. Despite the mixed feelings that some people have for this event, it is still one heck of a party and deserving of the moniker “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth”. Here’s what a day in the life of the Calgary Stampede looks like…

Calgary Stampede front gatesStanding in line for Stampede Tickets … as of 2013, ticket prices cost $16 for admission, a good portion of which goes to charity…

Teepee Village @ the Calgary Stampede The Teepee Village, showing how the First Nations people that resided in this area before us lived.

Walking around the Calgary Stampede Throngs of people stroll the Stampede Grounds, eating the food, enjoying the rides, and taking in the musical acts. Just over 1,000,000 people go through the turnstiles every year, testifying to the popularity of this well-loved festival.

Concession stands @ the Calgary Stampede Just a small slice of the food on offer at the Stampede. So wrong for your waistline, but go on. The Stampede only happens for 10 days a year. Spoil yerself!

Midway Games at the Calgary Stampede Step up. Try your luck. Win a prize.

As if all these traditional trappings of a fair weren’t enough to elevate your excitement level, how about … a wandering marching band? This is the Stampede, remember…

Had enough of the outdoors, or maybe the weather isn’t playing nice? Come indoors and sample some of the attractions located inside the many building on the Stampede Grounds. Like country music? Head to Nashville North, where a nonstop cast of musicians roll on and off stage every day (and beer never stops flowing…) Wanna sample some fine food? Head over to Western Oasis, where you’ll find plenty of elevated treats, along with some excellent wines that pair perfectly with them!

Or, if you are fortunate enough to witness this spectacle as I did during the 2012 Stampede, slap some board shorts on, get wet, and ride some waves more than 1,000 kilometres from the sea on the Flowrider…

After all that activity, it gets better still. Many of Canada’s leading and up and coming acts are attracted to the Stampede’s free stage every year, so you can find yourself a spot on the lawn and listen to the musical stylings of bands such as The Trews for $0 (well, it’s included in the price of your ticket but c’mon … keep up the illusion here!) 😛

After all this, if you still have the energy, head off the grounds and partake of the many offsite parties throughout urban Calgary that are all well-attended by the locals. Even during the week. Seriously. Many people get little or no work done during these ten days, as the city grinds to a near halt. The Stampede is that big of an event, guys. If you attend one festival during your time in Western Canada, make time for the Stampede.

Just be sure to book well in advance, as places as far as an hour outside the city can disappear months before the event.

After you tie up all your loose ends, pack your ten-gallon hat, your Alberta-sized belt buckle, and start practicing your Yahoo! … you’re headed to one of the greatest public celebrations in Canada!

Have you ever been to the Stampede? Share your experiences below!

Photo: Full Moon Over Lonely Beach on Koh Chang

Optimized-hpim0917The full moon shines through the clouds on a festive night in Koh Chang…

Throughout the world, Thailand is well-known for the rowdy celebration known as the Full Moon Party. Some love it, reveling in its trademark neon body paint, techno music, and bottomless buckets. Others hate it with a passion.

And still others are intrigued by the concept of partying and having a good time with only the moonlight to guide your dance steps, but they are turned off by what they see and hear at Koh Phangan’s flagship version of the event. The massive crowds of 30,000 people, excessive drug use, theft.

Well thankfully, that Southern Thai island doesn’t have a monopoly on moonlight and beaches. It turns out that Koh Chang has both as well. Minus the massive crowds. When I was the version of the party that Lonely Beach on Koh Chang threw, there were maybe a couple hundred people at the most out on the sands. It just felt right.

So if the crowds down south intimidate you, look east. Koh Chang may just be the place for you to find your groove under the faint light of the moon!