Calgary’s biggest party of the summer is just days away.
The annual Calgary Stampede will kick off this Friday and some business owners in the city say people are gearing up.
“It’s just been crazy, insane really, it’s been amazing,” says Cody & Sioux owner Ingrid Schulz.
“Everyone’s coming in for corporate wear to party wear, to fringe, boots, you name it; everyone’s just so excited for stampede this year.”
Schulz says after the past two years of COVID-19 restrictions and cancellations, people are eager to get out and be part of this year’s event. So much so that many have been stocking up on western wear from her southeast Calgary store since April.
Now she’s finding it hard to keep some of the more desired items on the shelves.
“This week we’re bringing in our third order of boots, which is unprecedented for us. Literally calling the manufacturers and saying: ‘What have you got?’ because we still need to outfit a lot of people,” she says.
Paige Mcleod was one of Cody & Sioux’s many customers on Sunday looking for that “right look” for the event.
Mcleod says she’s been going to the Calgary Stampede for several decades, and now it’s time to get her daughter involved in the festivities by doing a little “western wardrobe refresh” for a few events coming up over the next couple of weeks.
“It’s just fun,” says Mcleod.
“I mean, Stampede is the one week where Calgary really comes alive and I think the more that everyone gets into it and really lives it up, it’s special.”
Western wear stores aren’t alone in feeling the stampede atmosphere that’s taking over the city.
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For the owners of the Whiskey Rose Saloon, one of Calgary’s newest watering holes along 17 Avenue, this weekend saw a packed house inside its stampede tent which can be seen right beside their bar.
“We were lined up out the door, down the block with people who just couldn’t wait to get their stampede on a week in advance,” says Whiskey Rose Saloon managing partner Chris Jamieson.
“We were open in the tent all weekend. The city is definitely primed.”
This year’s stampede will be a first for the saloon, which opened its doors for the first time to the public in December.
While owners say this may be their first rodeo, it doesn’t mean they weren’t planning for the city’s biggest event, saying a space to put a tent was high on their list of needs prior to opening the bar.
“This was built into the business plan,” says Jamieson. “You don’t open a saloon in Calgary and not have stampede on your mind right from the beginning.”
Festivities for this year’s Calgary Stampede kick off on Friday and will run until July 17.