Calgary’s biggest party of the summer is just a few days away.
The annual Calgary Stampede kicks off this Friday, and some business owners in the city say people are getting ready.
“It’s been crazy, really crazy, it’s been amazing,” says Cody & Sioux owner Ingrid Schulz.
“Everyone comes for corporate wear, party wear, fringes, boots, whatever; everyone is so excited for this year’s stampede.”
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Schulz says that after the last two years of COVID-19 restrictions and cancellations, people are eager to get out there and be a part of this year’s event. So much so that many have been stocking up on denim at his southeast Calgary store since April.
Now you find it difficult to keep some of the most desired items on the shelves.
“This week we bring our third order of boots, which is unprecedented for us. Literally calling the manufacturers and saying, ‘What do you have?’ because we still have to equip a lot of people,” he says.
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Paige Mcleod was one of many Cody & Sioux clients on Sunday looking for that “right look” for the event.
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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 makeover” for a few events coming up over the next two weeks.
“It’s just fun,” Mcleod says.
“I mean, Stampede is the only week that Calgary really comes to life and I think the more everyone gets involved and really lives it, it’s special.”
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Cowboy clothing stores aren’t the only ones feeling the stampede atmosphere taking over the city.
For the owners of the Whiskey Rose Saloon, one of Calgary’s newest bars along 17 Avenue, this weekend saw a packed house inside their stampede tent that can be seen right next to their bar.
“We were lined up out the door, down the block with people who just couldn’t wait to get their stampede a week in advance,” says Chris Jamieson, managing partner of Whiskey Rose Saloon.
“We were open in the tent all weekend. The city is definitely ready.”
This year’s stampede will be a first for the hall, which first opened its doors to the public in December.
While the owners say this may be their first rodeo, that doesn’t mean they weren’t planning the biggest event in town, saying space to pitch a tent was high on their list of needs before opening the bar.
“This was built into the business plan,” says Jamieson. “You don’t open a salon in Calgary and you don’t have the stampede in mind from the start.”
This year’s Calgary Stampede festivities kick off on Friday and run through July 17.
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