Out of Grounds

You’ve paid the $15 admission, eaten at least two feet of corndogs, waited in several hour-long lineups (beer gardens or rides, or both), defeated a cunning carny at his own game, and nearly passed out in the hot sun during at least one rodeo event. It’s safe to say you’ve gotten the full Stampede experience. But there’s still plenty of work to be done off the Stampede Grounds, city boy.

Get on the Bus
If you really want to experience Calgary folk, meet up with the 24-hour party people and do a club crawl. The most recognized Stampede party tour group, Bust Loose, has their World Famous Stampede Club Crawl (July 9) and the Stampede Wind-Up Club Crawl (July 16). Each event loads hundreds of strangers on boozy bus tours of the city, stopping at a handful of Cowtown’s busiest clubs. The Bust Loose crawls usually sell out, but don’t panic if they do, there’s also a very similar Student Tours/Clubzone event on July 9.

Vibrant Venues
Couldn’t convince any of your buddies to join you for the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys Saddledome Mega Show? Don’t worry; it’s probably because they want to hear music. If that’s the case, check out the Red Bull Soundclash (July 10) at the Wildhorse Saloon, which features two of Canada’s coolest acts, K-OS and Dragonette on two separate stages, in a friendly battle for the crowd’s adoration; Wild Horse also has legendary AC/DC tribute band, BC/DC on July 11 — guaranteed to be a head-banging blast.

For more mellow tastes, Bedouin Soundclash plays The Whiskey July 11; and Flames Central has San Francisco DJ/producer vet, DJ Shadow on July 12. And Broken City and/or The Distillery are sure bets to catch solid indie acts, within close distance of the Stampede Grounds.

The Hangover: Part You
One of the best (and criminallyunderrated) parts of Stampede is the abundance of pancake breakfasts that take place all over the city during each of the 10 mornings before the festivities. Be sure to download the Flapjack Finder app and re-fuel with a hearty cowboy feast before hopping back on the wagon and doing it again.

Image courtesy of sweetviscape.

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