Last chance to cowboy up at Stampede

It’s the last weekend to kick up your heels and hit the Calgary Stampede, but they save the best for last on the grounds.

Even the hungriest of crowds at the Calgary Stampede can find something to eat. Anything from traditional steak sandwiches and hamburgers to deep fried pop tarts can be found at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

It’s the last weekend to kick up your heels and hit the Calgary Stampede, but they save the best for last on the grounds.

While it’s a new rodeo every day as the talented contestants compete for $60,000, the weekend draws the big money. The top four money winners in each pool advance to Sunday, the remaining six competitors in both pools compete on Wild Card Saturday. It’s a one shot go for broke performance. The final day of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is known as Showdown Sunday. Over $1 million will be given away on the rodeo grounds on what is known as the rodeo’s richest afternoon. The rodeo finals sees all 10 qualifiers get a chance to compete once in their event, with the four highest scores or fastest times advancing to the showdown round. These top-four contestants will let it all hang out for the top prize of $100,000 and the Calgary Stampede Championship. It’s straight-up rodeo, an exciting format, top dollars, elite athletes and superstar stock.

With so much to see and do every day at The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, it’s essential to have a plan. Visit calgarystampede.com to maximize the most out of your day at the Stampede with the online planner. It gives you detailed information about events and activities — helping you organize your Stampede getaway by date, activity or venue. If you are not sure what to do next, try the Stampede’s new texting program. Text ‘NEXT’ to 313131 for your next activity on the park.

If you are planning to visit the grounds this weekend, there is still time to see the Super Dogs new R&B, funk/soul inspired show “Bite it!.” Those wanting to have a taste of how the west was built can take in the draft horse experience and watch the working cow horse competition this weekend.

In between the thrills and spills of the rodeo, check out the high-flying action of David the Bullet Smith Junior, the human cannnonball, who launches himself across the Saddledome Plaza. The little ones can also be a part of the action at the kids chuck challenge. At the sound of the klaxon, teams of young cowboys and cowgirls between five and 10 years old compete as chuckwagon drivers on pedal-driven horses.

If you came to dance then check out The Coca-Cola Stage, an all-ages event, where you can see The Trews (Friday), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Saturday) and Marianas Trench (Sunday).

All that walking around in your boots and excitement is sure to make you hungry. Walk the grounds to gorge on all your favourite midway food. This year’s must-tries include the turkeytini, doughnut burger, the moowich, Kubi Korn dog, gourmet pretzel sticks, mac and cheese pizza, chicken cheese steak sandwich or the 10 different flavours of poutine. And, you can’t go to the Calgary Stampede without hitting one of the many free breakfasts organized throughout the city.

Of course every evening is highlighted with the TransAlta Grandstand Show called Volte. It’s about heat, horses and hoof beats. The Grandstand Show promises gravity-defying sights at dizzying heights, combining equine magnificence, whimsical dreamscapes and spontaneous bursts of pyrotechnic energy.

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