Calgary

Calgary Stampede finds ways to keep spirit alive despite COVID-19 cancellation

There still won't be a Calgary Stampede this year, but at least there'll be a Stampede breakfast and some of those mini doughnuts — in a COVID-friendly, physically distant format.

'We hope there’s a little taste of Stampede for everyone this year'

The first Calgary Stampede took place in 1912. From 1923 onward, it has been an annual event in Calgary and has been the city's biggest summer event for many decades. (John Gibson/CBC)

There still won't be a Calgary Stampede this year, but at least there'll be a Stampede breakfast and some of those mini doughnuts — in a COVID-friendly, physically distant format.

Stampede officials announced plans Wednesday for three events that will take place from July 6 to 11 in lieu of an actual Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

On April 23, it was announced that the annual rodeo, midway and exhibition wouldn't happen this year because of the public health crisis, the first time Calgary's signature event has been cancelled since 1923.

"It's hard to imagine a July in Calgary without a Stampede pancake breakfast, mini doughnuts and other midway treats," said Calgary Stampede president Dana Peers in a release.

"I'm extremely excited to share that enjoying all three of those Stampede staples will be possible this July and we also have a few more surprises in store!" 

The Stampede is setting up a mini doughnut drive-thru on the grounds, operating July 6-11. That will be open daily from noon to 9 p.m. Pre-purchasing will be available soon at the Calgary Stampede website.

For the kids, the Stampede is hosting a free pancake breakfast — also drive-thru — on the grounds on July 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Advance registration is required and will be available soon at the Calgary Stampede website.

And on July 4 and 5, the Stampede has organized a food truck rally on the grounds and at other locations that will be announced at a later date.

"Without the support of our Stampede partners, this wouldn't be possible. We'd like to thank them and our community for keeping the Stampede spirit shining in 2020," said Peers. 

"We hope there's a little taste of Stampede for everyone this year, until we can gather together again in 2021!"

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