Kevin Costner, the 2022 Calgary Stampede Marshall says hello to fans at the parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)

The Calgary Stampede has returned in 2022 after a cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19, and a parade that saw a virtual attendance in 2021.

300,000 showed up in cowboy attire at the Calgary parade, making it the largest attendance for a Stampede parade in the history of the event.

The same day saw over 137,000 people attend Stampede, which is a daily attendance record for the first day of Stampede.

According to a report from CTV, the total up until Friday was 154,713, which included nearly 25,000.

This was also the first in-person parade since the start of COVID-19. The parade in 2021 was virtual, with all the floats and performers marching in a field outside Calgary.

Kevin Costner, star of Dances with Wolves and Yellowstone, was the parade marshal for the event. His band, Kevin Costner & The Modern West, performed a show on June 8 on the Virgin Plus stage.

A lady from the Chinese community at the Stampede Parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
Jyoti Gondek, mayor of Calgary at the Stampede Parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The Calgary Stampede is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
An indigenous community leader at the Stampede Parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
Two ladies from the Stampede Parade display in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
A girl from the Nigerian Canada Association at the Calgary Stampede Parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. ThThe parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
A child at the Stampede Parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
A man at the Stampede parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)
Jason Kenney, premiere of Alberta at the Stampede Parade in Calgary on Friday, July 8, 2022. The parade is back in full swing after the two-year break due to Covid. (Photo by Onyinye Ekene-Obi/The Emery Weal)

PETA asked Costner not appear as parade marshal, citing that the rodeo has killed more than 70 horses. Six were killed in 2019, tied with 2010’s Calgary Stampede for the most deaths at the rodeo.

Calgary mayor, Jyoti Gondek, and Alberta premier, Jason Kenney, were also in attendance.

The Stampede is ongoing despite a surge of COVID-19 cases.

According to the province of Alberta, there are 568 people in hospital, with 21 in the ICU. There are 589,726 cases in the province, with nearly half in Calgary at 238,856 as of July 10, 2022.

New foods to try

The Stampede has a slew of new food to try, with the Mac N Cheese soft serve ice cream in the spotlight. When it was first announced, users on social media weren’t pleased.

The midway has always had adventurous foods, like the Meal Worm Hot Dogs and the Sushi Donut.

The new items they will have are the Unagi Sushi Taco, Korean Squid Ink Hotdog, the Crazy Tongue Pizza (with actual cow tongue on top), and many more.

“I loved the Bao Baos at Dumpling Hero,” said B, a Calgary food blogger and influencer that goes by the instagram handle @foodventureswithb. “It’s got large portions and is very flavourful. The Horchata Pineapple was surprisingly good; very refreshing.”

“I liked the Deep Fried Mochi the least. It was very runny in the center and similar to uncooked dough.”

When asked about the Mac N Cheese soft serve, she said, “Its good to try, but it wasn’t my favorite. It definitely tasted like Mac N Cheese.”

You can find more information on the midway food on the Calgary Stampede website.

Affordable prices

Students might stay away because it may damage their wallet, but the Stampede has many value days to accommodate families and students.

Tuesday, July 12 is a value day for TC Energy’s Community Day. There is free admission from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and free gate admission for seniors all-day-long. They also get the perk of free coffee and doughnuts until 10:30 a.m.

Kids day is the following day, on Wednesday, July 13. Kids under 12 gain free entry all day, and everyone else has free entry until 10 a.m.

The Stampede SuperPass is $49 at any Sobey’s, Safeway, or IGA. They are limited, but this proves cheap as they give free entry for all 10 days of the Stampede.

They also sell Ride All Day cards in the same locations for $39.

There are discounted transit passes available on the My Fare app and at all CTrain ticket vending machines. You can also find them at your local 7-Eleven, Circle K/Mac’s, Safeway and Sobeys stores, and from Calgary Transit Customer Service Centres July 7-17, 2022.

There are also many free Stampede breakfast locations, with some breakfasts continuing to the last day.

New rides

The largest Ferris wheel in North America, the Super Wheel, has marked Calgary as its only Canadian stop.

The wheel is 46 metres high, and according to the North American Midway Entertainment, the Super Wheel features 36 climate-controlled gondolas that seat four to six guests per gondola.

It was manufactured in Europe by Ronald Bussink of Professional Rides AG.

The wheel arrived on 20 tractor-trailer loads.

Plenty of shows to sate a party-goer’s thirst

JP Saxe performs on the Coca-Cola Stage on the Stampede grounds in Calgary on July 7, 2022. Saxe headlined the show during sneak-a-peek on Thursday. Around 25,000 people showed up to Stampede’s sneak-a-peek night. (Photo by Ben Hames/The Emery Weal)

JP Saxe got the party started with the sneak-a-peek show on Thursday at the Coca-Cola Stage, along with Dwayne Gretzky on the Virgin Plus Stage and Meghan Patrick at Nashville North.

The Stampede has an impressive lineup with many country stars, while also holding pop and rock artists for those less-inclined to the country theme of the Stampede.

Nashville North holds many country artists, and will host the likes of the Hunter Brothers, Tim Hicks, Chris Lane, The Reklaws, Tyler Joe Miller, and many more.

The Coca-Cola stage, which saw the original stage get torn-down after 40 years of memories, has always been free for anyone walking by, and holds different artists outside of country stars.

Carly-Rae Jepson, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Alexisonfire, July Talk, guitar sensation Tash Sultana, Tokyo Police Club, Kaskade, and Alessia Caro are a few names to perform on the Coca-Cola Stage this year.

One of the biggest names to appear on the Virgin Plus Stage was 90’s pop band Aqua, made famous for their single “Barbie Girl.” They are playing Monday, July 11.

T-Pain, Lupe Fiasco, The Funk Brothers, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Sublime with Rome, and Grandson are also performing throughout the rest of the Stampede at the Virgin Plus Stage, which is in the Big Four Roadhouse.

Fireworks go off without a hitch

Fireworks erupt over the grand stand at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary Friday, July 8, 2022. (Photo by Rory Carroll/Novalight Photography)
Fireworks erupt over the grand stand at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary Friday, July 8, 2022. (Photo by Rory Carroll/Novalight Photography)
Fireworks erupt over the grand stand at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary Friday, July 8, 2022. (Photo by Rory Carroll/Novalight Photography)

The fireworks mark the end of the Grandstand show at 11 p.m., and the end of a Stampede day.

The fireworks have been a Stampede tradition, and continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the rest of the Stampede was closed.

There are many places to watch the fireworks, so if you cannot make it to the Stampede grounds, they are free to watch in many parts of the city.

The last day tends to hold the longest and loudest fireworks display, as they exhaust any extra fireworks they didn’t use throughout the week.

Many more attractions

The Calgary Stampede grandstand show utilises drones to make unique light formations in Calgary Friday, July 8, 2022. (Photo by Rory Carroll/Novalight Photography)

The Grandstand show starts at 7:45 p.m. everyday, and the rodeo is ongoing daily at 1:30 p.m.

There are various agricultural competitions throughout the remaining days as well, including team cattle-penning championships, Canadian National Miniature Horse show, and the Vintage Tractor Pull.

The Elbow River Camp hosts the culture of the Kainai, Piikani, Siksika, Stoney Nakoda, and Tsuutina First Nations of Treaty 7.

There are nightly presentations that include storytelling, dancing and drumming; meat cutting and games; and a Powwow demonstration. The Powwow demonstrations are from July 9 – 11, and on July 15 – 17, 1-2 p.m.

The Kids Day Powwow is on July 13 from 1-3 p.m.

If you want to learn more about the Stampede and what they have to offer, you can visit their website here, or follow their Instagram to keep up with the latest information.

Alejandro Melgar

Alejandro Melgar graduated from the SAIT online-print journalism stream. He is the current club president of The Emery Weal, and he is a contributor. You can find his work on LiveWire Calgary and on his website at www.alejandromelgar.ca

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