Home Month and Year July 2023 The Calgary Staycation

The Calgary Staycation

Exploring the sights and sounds of local festivals and more!

Midway food at Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Staycation. It is a thing and becoming increasingly more popular.

Calgary is known for its warm hospitality and stunning natural surroundings, offering an array of exciting activities and events during the summer months. Locals looking to explore their own backyard or discover unforgettable experiences can find something right here at home. From world-famous festivals to outdoor adventures, the city is brimming with activities to make the most of the summer season.

The city offers numerous unique experiences that captivate both locals and tourists alike.

The Calgary Stampede

Famously known as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede (“Stampede”) has consistently captivated crowds from all corners of the globe, but locals especially enjoy celebrating this 10-day extravaganza, which showcases rodeo events, live music, delicious food and thrilling entertainment.

This year, from July 7 to 16, the city will once again embrace the spirit of the Stampede, welcoming both locals and tourists alike.

A spokesperson for the Calgary Stampede says, “This is a year of celebration at the Calgary Stampede. In July, we invite visitors to celebrate 100 years of chuckwagon racing at the Cowboys Rangeland Derby. In 1923, the Calgary Stampede staged the world’s first chuckwagon race, inspired by the tradition of cowboys breaking camp and racing home. Today, the rush is still alive, and we are thrilled to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime milestone with our guests.”

They add, “The world-famous Bell Grandstand Show is back like you’ve never seen it before, all 10 nights during Stampede 2023. Elaborate song and dance numbers, acrobatics and a spectacular fireworks finale in the night sky. If you think you’ve seen the Bell Grandstand Show, think again!”

Calgarians have always enjoyed seeking out a delicious pancake breakfast during the Stampede. This year marks 100 years of pancake breakfasts. A true Stampede staple, with over 200,000 pancakes consumed at community breakfasts over the 10 days of Stampede, locals and visitors alike can look forward to experiencing a long-standing tradition.

“This year, we are bringing back all the iconic Stampede experiences in a big way, showing what truly makes the Calgary Stampede The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

The Stampede Powwow will take over the Saddledome July 12 and 13 for a celebration of cultures that is open to everyone. This is a one-of-a-kind event that features incredible drumming and dancers from across Canada and the United States competing for $200,000 in prizing.

The Calgary Stampede Rodeo is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo featuring the world’s best competitors and animals. The Stampede features six major rodeo events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

For music lovers, the Stampede is renowned for giving fans a full music festival experience, and this year is no exception. With four stages that span multiple genres, there is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy.

The Saddledome is the Stampede’s biggest stage, and organizers are thrilled to welcome some big names this year including international superstar Pitbull, A.K.A. Mr. Worldwide, who will electrify the stage on July 7 to open the first night of Stampede 2023.

Alabama, one of the most decorated country bands in history, will rock the Saddledome on July 8, and on July 15, the best wrestlers in the world will come together when All Elite Wrestling brings a live spectacular to the Stampede.

On July 9, Lord Huron is set to headline a five-band bill featuring St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Donovan Woods, Wild Rivers and Begonia at the Stampede’s most unique concert venue – the Big Four Roadhouse.

For the foodies out there, the iconic Stampede Midway is always memorable and exciting. New foods are made specifically for the Stampede, so visitors will have an exclusive opportunity to try all the new unique offerings the Midway has to offer.

Calgary Folk Fest

Celebrating its 44th year, the Calgary Folk Fest, powered by ATB, will return to Prince’s Island Park, July 27 to 30. It is one of Canada’s flagship, trailblazing music festivals with a national and international profile and a broad, cutting-edge programming vision.

Executive director Sara Leishman says, “We’re excited to share a full line-up of 70 artists from Alberta, Canada and the globe who grace this four-day, multi-staged, family-friendly cultural and musical extravaganza. The festival will represent a wide diversity of cultures, backgrounds and genres including roots, indie, folk, blues, bluegrass, orchestral pop, hip hop, funk, traditional and current global sounds and more. Artists perform on six daytime and two evening stages in concerts and collaborative sessions — unpredictable mashups where artists collaborate in unique and unexpected ways, sharing songs and stories.”

Artist highlights include Emmylou Harris, Tanya Tucker, Jeff Tweedy, Digable Planets and Aysanabee.

“The Calgary Folk Music Festival is not only a destination event but also a vital community gathering. With a dedicated team of small staff and an army of 1,700 community volunteers, the festival brings together approximately 53,000 Calgarians and tourists. The organizers strive to make the event accessible and affordable, offering free admission for children aged 12 and under and discounted tickets for youth, students and seniors,” says Leishman.

Local attractions and activities

Outside of the many festivals, Calgary offers an abundance of other exciting attractions and activities. Calaway Park, Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park, offers more than 30 rides, games and live entertainment for all ages.

Heritage Park, the country’s largest living history museum, takes visitors on a journey through time with historic homes, vintage rides, steam train rides and daily demonstrations.

Families can also enjoy the thrill of downhill karting, embarking on mountain biking adventures or playing an 18-hole round of mini-golf all located at Winsport. Calgarians are encouraged to explore the captivating WildScapes summer garden at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo.

Calgary is home to many beautiful parks, such as Carburn Park, Fish Creek Provincial Park and Nose Hill Park. The parks provide ample space for outdoor exploration and picnics. The city also boasts more than 8,000 hectares of parkland and natural areas along with the longest trail network in North America.

For locals looking to truly take advantage of the staycation experience, there are many hotels around the city at a variety of price points. From the Sheraton Eau Claire to the Fairmont Palliser, there is no shortage of accommodations around the city. Many hotels offer family packages and discounts, making the staycation experience affordable and fun.

Hotel Arts features a unique Poolside experience and allows non-hotel guests access to experience “South Beach vibes right here in YYC.”

Tourism Calgary says, “Last summer, Calgary experienced a surge in tourism, with hotels reaching 90 per cent occupancy during the 2022 Calgary Stampede. In July and August, over 700,000 hotel rooms were sold, and from June to September, the number exceeded 1.33 million.”

Tourism Calgary anticipates another busy summer. “Our team of Local Experts will be popping up again this summer along Stephen Avenue and at events around the city providing tips on things to see and do in Calgary. The team is also happy to answer questions through digital channels such as live chat, email and SMS.”

Calgary offers a diverse range of activities and events that make it an ideal destination for a summer staycation. As the city continues to establish itself as a year-round destination, Calgarians can look forward to an array of exciting experiences that showcase the city’s vibrant spirit and natural beauty.