June 30, 2014 5:49 pm

Bar owners push to start Calgary Stampede parties even earlier

CALGARY- Should those famous Calgary Stampede parties get going even earlier? That’s what some bar owners are lobbying for, as they push to get liquor laws relaxed during the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

The rule currently states that alcohol cannot be served before 10 a.m., though private events are sometimes exempt. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) has so far received dozens of applications to serve alcohol at Stampede breakfasts.

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READ MORE: Stampede party tents: What’s happening and when

Bar owners are pushing for a rule change ahead of Stampede 2015, similar to the relaxation seen during the early morning gold medal Olympic hockey game back in February.

“I think that Calgarians responded well, there were no real incidents that I’m aware of,” says Jon Molyneux, VP of operations for the Concorde Group. “ We had several of our properties open early at 5 o’clock for the gold medal game, and it worked out really well.”

People Global News spoke with also think the changes are long overdue.

“I think with the Stampede breakfasts with all the tourists, I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” said Maye Kordi. “If it gets the community together I don’t see why it’s a problem.”

“Stampede happens once a year, it’s for 10 days. People seem pretty responsible, especially during Stampede,” adds Scott Lindo.

However, the president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada isn’t completely convinced.

“I think we need to exercise extreme caution with type of thing,” says Denise Dubyk. “We need to ensure that police are going to be available with enhanced check stops.  We need to ensure that everyone is protected from impaired driving.”

The AGLC is planning a review of its liquor policies, as the last update was back in 2008.

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