Staff at the Wildhorse Saloon are excited to get back in the saddle and open the giant party tent to the public during the 2021 Calgary Stampede.
The popup western bar, live music venue and dance hall opens during the Stampede every year, but wasn’t able to operate in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Now, the Concorde Group says the Wildhorse Saloon is back and bigger than ever.
“We’re really excited to be able to host people again,” said Natalie Alexandre, senior manager of business and corporate events for the Concorde Group.
“We have a really awesome team of people that are happy to be back working to make this all set up.”
Normally, preparations for the venue, located in a white tent on the corner of 5 Street and 6 Avenue Southwest, start in the New Year.
Alexandre said this year it’s like a fast-forward button was hit.
“We’re popping up this tent in less time than we normally do. Really planning Stampede in a couple of weeks — once we got the green light,” she said.
Alexandre said the Concorde Group has been in constant contact with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to make sure the bar is as clean and safe as possible.
“We’ve taken a lot of extra precautions and safety measures to make this is really the safest Stampede and safest tent environment that we can.
“We’re working really closely with AHS, following all guidelines, all protocols, taking any advice and suggestions from them to keep everyone safe.”
In addition, Alexandre said staff working at Wildhorse will undergo rapid COVID-19 testing every two or three days, and the Concorde Group has plenty of extra staff on standby to cover off anyone who isn’t feeling well or who has COVID-19 symptoms.
“We do have the tent cleaned every single night, every single day, making sure surfaces are wiped down,” she said.
“We’ve actually increased the footprint of the tent this year too. We have a larger tent, so people can spread out a little bit more and not feel so cramped in a crowd.”
Wildhorse has a stage and dance floor inside the tent, and the Wildhorse Midway outside, which features games, beer gardens and food.
“We’ve got amazing live music each day,” Alexandre said. “It’s going to be really fun to be back in a concert environment.”
Wildhorse Saloon runs from July 8-18.
Musical acts set to perform at the venue include Aaron Goodvin, Reuben and The Dark, Cole Bradley and Danko Jones.