Strolling through Stampede Park is a great way to learn about the history of Stampede and all of those involved over the years. You may not realize it, but you’re walking through years of history, fun facts, great exhibits, and fantastic public art and historical installations.
So, grab a bag of mini doughnuts, and walk over to some of the quieter areas of the Park to learn just a little bit about the rich history that the Stampede is steeped in.
1. Make a stop in Weadickville, located just behind the Coca-Cola Stage, for some cheap eats in an old fashioned setting. Named after founder Guy Weadick, you’ll also find the historic North West Mounted Police (NWMP) cabin, open from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day, Fazackerly’s fudge, Quirk Cabin, and Rotary House. Fun fact: Fazackerly’s fudge was the Stampede’s own post office, and you can still find the letter box. In behind Rotary House you can see the original stone chimney from the Old Timer’s cabin, and in Quirk Cabin, which once belonged to ranchers John and Kate Quirk, you can see a display of artifacts, set up by myself and the historical committee. The theme changes every year, and this year focuses on the Pioneers of Rodeo Award, which honours those who have significantly contributed to the sports of rodeo and chuckwagons. This year you can even dress up and have your photo taken in a mini chuckwagon!
Check out Western Oasis for a calming, artistic environment!
2. Western Oasis is a great place to enjoy a nice glass of wine, cool down in the air conditioned and calming environment and enjoy a great display of local art. A joint display from the Southern Alberta Pioneers and their Descendants and the historical committee is worth a look at, as well as the carriages from Remington Carriage Museum. Nearby you’ll also see a display from the Queens and Princess Alumni, this year with a Canada 150 theme.
3. Public Art makes a great showing across park, including several murals, the impressive By the Banks of the Bow sculpture, and Rainbow Trout in ENMAX Park. Stop by Western Oasis or Quirk Cabin to pick up an art walk brochure to discover all of the other great art pieces throughout Stampede Park
Stop by Quirk Cabin for a walk through history!
4. The Victoria Pavilion, which features a host of agricultural competitions and displays, is one of the oldest buildings on Stampede Park. The pavilion, and Victoria Park area, are named after Queen Victoria, who was still Queen when this area was selected for the annual exhibition- when Calgary was still a town, and not yet a city!
5. Keep an eye out for historical displays throughout the park. You’ll find some in the halls of BMO, in the Grandstand and in other buildings.
6. On the second floor of BMO Centre, you’ll find the Grain Academy and Museum to learn a little bit more about our important agricultural history. Particularly interesting if you like model trains and grain elevators!