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On the Bright Side: Stampede spirit lives on

By Jenn Gorrie, July 8 2020—

With the cancellation of events throughout the city due to Covid-19, the Calgary Stampede was a major casualty in the list of festivals many Calgarians were looking forward to attending over the summer.

Fortunately, as businesses start to re-open throughout the city, the Calgary Stampede has decided to still carry on with their community spirit but instead of a festival, they are approaching the celebration differently. On June 23, the Calgary Stampede teased fans of their Instagram page by posting cowboy hats a long with a cryptic description, “Don’t worry YYC – you won’t need to keep your hats hung up for too much longer!”

Details started to unfold throughout the week on their other social media platforms, sharing that fireworks would be held, as well as a BMO Kid’s Pancake Breakfast, a food truck rally, and a community pancake drive-thru.  According to the Stampede’s website, “We may not be able to gather together or celebrate in traditional ways during Stampede 2020, but that won’t stop Stampede spirit from shining through during the ten days in July.

“Whether you Stampede at home, in your yard, or with your neighbours, we’re excited to see how you create Community Spirit this year.”

By now most are familiar with the different Covid-19 protocols, from new regulations at restaurants and new shopping methods, including curbside pickup. The Calgary Stampede has been working diligently to make sure they follow health guidelines and to allow everything to move smoothly.

Their food truck rally was held on July 4 and 5 and asked for those interested to purchase tickets before-hand, which will allow access to drive through the park and pick up their order.

On their website they posted, “With the health and safety of our community front of mind, access to the Stampede Food Truck Rally will only be provided to those in vehicles. Bicycle, scooter, walk-up and alternative transportation modes will not be permitted. No gathering, parking or tailgating will be allowed on Stampede Park due to current restrictions on mass gatherings.”

This year may be different for the Stampede, but the spirit is still alive and well!

Drive-up Mini Donuts are taking place throughout would-be Stampede Week, as well as drive-through pancake breakfasts and a repeat of the fireworks on July 12.

Their website has other suggestions from those planning to stay at home, such as providing backgrounds for Stampede-themed Zoom calls, a Spotify playlist, and Instagram stickers.

On the Bright Side is a regular column by Gauntlet volunteers. Covering feel-good news, information and opinions from around the world, On the Bright Side is a little piece of positivity in a wild world. To submit, contact the column editor, volunteer coordinator Susie Ngo.

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