A big thanks to the community for helping make Stampede 2018 the most successful Calgary Stampede festival in history! Throughout the 10 days, guests in attendance could feel that Stampede Park was bustling with an extra dose of community spirit; but what was it that made Stampede 2018 so special? Here are a few highlights from this year’s festival:

Volunteers cooking up a storm for the community on Stampede Park

Indian Village changes its name to Elbow River Camp

On Sunday, July 15, the Tipi Owners of Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede announced the joint decision to change the name of Indian Village to Elbow River Camp. For the past 106 years, Indian Village has been a place and a name with great historical significance. For many of the participants, it honours the relationship of the Tipi Owners with the Stampede and Guy Weadick from the very beginning.

How was the new name selected? Even though the languages of the five nations of Treaty 7 differ, one thing has always been consistent: this place is referred to as the Elbow. For generations, when tipi owning families came to the Stampede, they would point to their elbow to communicate where they were going. In Dene, Stoney and Blackfoot the word for Calgary refers to the bend in the Elbow River – the elbow.

Cenovus Family Day fed 25,000 guests and only created one bag of garbage

The sun was shining, a light breeze blowing and the pancakes were flipping on Sunday, July 8 – Cenovus Family Day. The day kicked off at 8 a.m. with free admission and a pancake breakfast for the first 25,000 guests.

“It was a beautiful morning for Cenovus Family Day. Not only did we serve 25,000 pancakes, but guests also enjoyed a rodeo and agriculture 101 – which educated our guests about rodeo competitors and agriculture, and included special performances by Ducks and Dogs and a trick roper,” said Susan Beirnes, Programming Design Manager at the Calgary Stampede.

One of the best parts of the day? With majority of compostable materials, the event only produced one (22lb) bag of garbage.

Members of the Environmental and Park & Facilities teams smile about the successes of the compost.

McDonald’s Community Day and the Random Acts of Spirit team spread joy on Stampede Park
The McDonald’s Random Acts of Spirit team surprised some lucky guests with unexpected and unique experiences while they visited The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth on McDonald’s Community Day – the newest special day for 2018.

The Viernes family and daughters Berlyn and Alexys were of the lucky recipients who were in for a special treat when the team took them for a behind-the-scenes tour with Minature Donkey’s Zoe and Silk in Ag-tivity in the City. “It was a great experience for our girls and they had so much fun,” said Roselyn Viernes, Berlyn and Alexys’ mother.

The new special day kicked off at 10 a.m. with the first 25,000 guests receiving a special commemorative button, making use of #LOVEYYC, and admission was just $2 until 2 p.m. Roaming entertainment could be seen throughout Stampede Park, courtesy of GlobalFest.

Berlyn and Alexys brush Zoe, the miniature donkey, together as part of their special experience!

Nutrien Western Event Centre transformed to wow guests with agriculture displays  

The new home to all agriculture and western event competitions, the Nutrien Western Event Centre, shined a spotlight on the must-see events that brought guests to the edges of their seats. New for 2018, this state-of-the-art venue hosted nightly shows to showcase some of the greatest agriculture and western events that the Calgary Stampede has to offer.

The arena was packed nightly, introducing the world of agriculture to many eager urbanites and creating lasting memories and a greater understanding of urban-rural connections.

Guests eagerly watch the 2018 Stock Dog Championships in the Nutrien Western Event Centre

Stampede 2018 was a great year filled with smiles, surprises and cultural sharing and learnings, and if you still haven’t got your Calgary Stampede fix, check out these events in the fall at Stampede Park.