Value Hunter Tips for the Calgary Stampede

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The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest events in all of Canada, a rootin’ tootin Wild West hoe-down that lasts for 10 days in July and includes rodeo events, chuckwagon races, live music, a carnival and midway, contests, fireworks and much more. Attending this festival is the ultimate Albertan cowboy culture celebration, but if you are not careful the festivities can burn a hole in your wallet faster than it takes a cowboy to be thrown off a bucking bronco.

How can you make the most of your money when enjoying the Calgary Stampede? The key is not necessarily to look for the cheapest options, but for the best value. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can stretch your hard-earned dollars further and get more value from your Stampede experience.

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Look for Advance Deals and Coupons

In the weeks leading up to the Stampede you will notice certain brands and businesses offering special deals, so keep your eye out early and start collecting these coupons! For example, Costco usually sells “Stampede Bucks” which can be used for games, admission, rides and food. You can get $50 worth of Stampede Bucks for $40.

Also, you can find coupons in cases of Coca Cola or when you order from Pizza 73. Safeway also has a Ride & Play card that you can redeem for a full-day midway wristband. It is only $37.85, which is $20 cheaper than buying the same wristband at the park.

Visit on The Right Day

Did you know that there are certain days when you can get better Stampede value? For example, if you visit on Suncor Family Day, on Sunday July the 6th, you can enjoy free admission from 6am until 9am and a free breakfast for the first 20,000 guests.

On BMO Kid’s Day admission is free from 7am until 9am for kids and adults accompanying them. If you are over the age of 65 you can enjoy free admission all day on July 8th, Western Heritage Day.

Buy Your Western Gear Second Hand

You will want to dress the part when you attend the Stampede, but do you really need to buy brand new expensive cowboy gear that you will probably only wear once a year? Keep more coins in the pocket of your tight boot-cut jeans by shopping at a thrift store instead. For example, Urban Thrift in Calgary offers discount slightly used western gear.

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Bring a Picnic Lunch

If you are planning on spending the entire day at the Stampede, as many do, there is no need to spend money on two pricey midway meals.

Start your day with one of the free pancake breakfasts that are offered all over the city, use the Flapjack Finder app to locate one near you. Then, make your own sandwiches at home for lunch on the go. This way, you will only need to pay for your evening meal. Weadickville, which is located just behind the Coca-Cola Stage, is a lovely green oasis with picnic tables and grass where you can relax and enjoy your food.

Also, bring your own water bottle because the cost of bottled water on the Stampede Grounds is a little bit ridiculous.

Enjoy the Free Entertainment

To stretch your Stampede budget even further, spend your time enjoying the free entertainment that the festival has to offer. There are plenty of choices, such as the free concerts on the Coca-Cola Stage and the country western entertainment at Nashville North.

Other popular free indoor shows include the Tails Dramatic Horse Show and the Superdogs show. Also, the fireworks at 11pm every night won’t cost you a thing.

Buy Standing Room Tickets for Rodeo Events

There are many rodeo events and evening shows that take place at the Stampede Grandstand. However, the tickets for these events can cost from $40-$140. To save your cash, look for standing room tickets at the last minute on the day of the show.

Check in at the ticket office in the Grandstand before 11am on the day of the show and there will be a limited amount of tickets on sale. These tickets will be only around $14-$17 for adults and $7-$8 for youth. If you can keep your schedule flexible and get to the park early enough to check for these standing room tickets, you can enjoy great savings on the rodeo events.

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These are just a few of the ways that you can get more bang for your buck when you are at the Calgary Stampede this year. Enjoy this iconic Calgary event and party until the cows come home!

About the Author: Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run Global-Goose.com, packed full with guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style since 2011, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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