With Stampede 101 just around the corner, there is a lot to be excited about! Thinking about all this excitement reminds me of all the adrenaline pumping rides that all thrill-seekers can find on the Midway. One of the best parts of summer, besides Stampede of course, is when you’re driving around town and you see the convoy of Midway rides coming down the road! That’s always been the sign that Stampede is just around the corner. I know we’re not quite there yet, and the roads are still “ride convoy” free, but it’s hard not to get excited when it’s only 56 days away!

 

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn

 

With all that being said, when you’re planning your Stampede visit, you should know there are rides, games and thrills for people of all ages and for all thrill-tolerance levels! So whether you’re looking for the heart pounding, brain scrambling, extreme thrill, or the light-hearted, smile instilling, mild ride, there is something for you!

We’re lucky enough to work with our Midway partner, North American Midway Entertainment (N.A.M.E), to bring you some of the best rides to the Midway. N.A.M.E is the world’s largest travelling outdoor amusement park, which serves over 15 million fairgoers every year in 4 provinces and 20 American states. For Stampede, N.A.M.E brings the main Midway rides, games and several food concessions. They also bring the Kids’ Midway, which is perfect for the mini thrill-seekers! You can check out the rides and the “Size Wize” program on their website at www.namidway.com

 

Photo Credit: Tye Carson

 

For those of you who soared across the Park on the Centennial Zip Line last year, you’ll have to try out some other sky-high rides, as it was only for the Centennial celebration. However, we’ve got a new ride coming to town! The brand new Mach 3 is a tummy tumbler, with two sets of seats mounted back-to-back on each end of a 37 metre arm. Each four-seat assembly can swing a full 360 degrees while in rotation. Once Mach 3 begins, you better hold on tight because the arm will rotate up to 13 revolutions per minute, producing an acceleration of 3.5g on the riders! It might be a little daring for me, but maybe Space Cowboy Commander Hadfield will be up for the challenge?  You can check out the new Mach 3 in action by visiting N.A.M.E. on Facebook.

 

Photo Credit: N.A.M.E.

 

For your riding entertainment the newest rollercoaster, Outlaw (named after the famous bull), that premiered for our Centennial, will be returning! Riders will need to raise their hands as they blast out of the chutes, dipping and twisting, much like the famed Stampede Outlaw – who was considered one of the rankest animals in the world of rodeo.

 

Photo Credit: Bill Marsh

 

Some of our independent vendors will also be bringing your favourites like the Skyscraper Two, the Slingshot and the Eurobungy. If extreme rides aren’t your thing, you can plan a trip on some of the Midway classics like the Ferris wheel and WestJet Sky Ride!

If you want to save some money, and who doesn’t, you can pick up a Stampede Midway Card, available exclusively at Safeway until Thursday, July 4th. There are two card options available, which offer over 20% in ride savings! The first card is the 56 Coupons card, which is valid on all 10 days of Stampede. The second card option is a Ride All Day card, which is valid only on weekdays and only for the day it is activated. Another perk of these cards, is that if your feet get tired and you want to zip across Park, they can be used for the WestJet Sky Ride!

 

Advance Midway 1Midway

 

After writing about all of these cool rides and experiences, I have one more ride related topic that I want to mention. The Queens’ Alumni Committee together with Southland Transportation has this really great program called Giddy-Up Grits. This is a program which provides a morning of Stampede fun for children with special needs.

The experience includes a pancake breakfast (Yum!), clowns and jugglers, free rides in the Kids’ Midway and on select main Midway rides, mascots and celebrities, a petting zoo, Superdog tickets, and FUN! This event is invite only, but if you or someone you know is interested in participating, you can email queensalumni@calgarystampede.com for more information.

 

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the rides and ride programs, and are getting as excited as I am!

Ps. Did you know that it takes less than 2 seconds to drop 130 feet on the Mega Drop Tower?

Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood

Written by:

Jillian Cook

Lindsey Kendrick