Calgary Stampede To-Do: Pancake breakfast fashion shows, Kate Middleton–approved wears, a Carly Rae Jepsen concert and other ways to say “yee-haw!” to the Stampede’s centennial celebrations

This year marks the centennial for the Calgary Stampede, and after last year’s Royal visit, you can be sure this southern Alberta city will see a record number of tourists passing through Cowtown—or the New West, rather, from July 6 to 15.

Apart from the nightly parties taking place at a majority of restaurants, bars and music venues throughout the city, as well as that old rodeo—which has become, for many, somewhat of a side-note on a jam-packed Stampede social calendar—we’ve rounded up a few style and beauty necessities and can’t-miss events to keep you in the western spirit in present-day 2012.

Saddle up and read on for our Calgary Stampede To-Do! »

Photography by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Contemporary Cowgirl
If you’ve already picked up your classic Alberta Boot Company cowboy boots—Kate wore a custom pair during the parade last year—you might be set for traditional Stampede garb. (Unless you’ve managed to get your hands on a special edition Paul Hardy hat, in which case you’re a maple flag celebrity.) But for something a little more fashion-forward, head to Stephen Avenue on your noon-hour lunch break to catch the CORE Shopping Centre’s contemporary Stampede-inspired fashion show.

July 4, 12 p.m.–1 p.m.
Stephen Avenue, SW, Calgary

Ye Olde Faithful Parade
This year’s parade marshal, famed Canadian country musician Ian Tyson, is sure to make this milestone event a memorable one. We’ll be watching from the swanky and sophisticated Crystal Ballroom Corral at the Fairmont Palliser, après-pancake breakfast, of course, but as one of the oldest and largest traditions at the Stampede, this friendly 4.5 km parade stretch is a healthy way to kick off the festivities.

July 6, 9 a.m.–11 a.m.
Downtown Calgary

Photography by Colin Way

Papier & Pancakes
Calgary is all about their pancake breakfasts during Stampede, and this year, local designer Kara Chomistek, president of Calgary’s non-profit arts organization, PARK, and our March It Girl, will unveil a Stampede gown made entirely of pancake breakfast supplies (like plates, napkins, forks and coffee filters) at the Chinook Centre Pancake Breakfast. From our sneak peek, we can assure you that this paper frock looks nothing like a doily.

July 7, 7 a.m.–11 a.m.
Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary

And it’s worth noting that to find out when and where all the pancake breakfasts are happening throughout the city during Stampede, there’s an app for that: FlapJackFinder.

Photography by Bill Marsh/Calgary Stampede Flickr

The In Crowd
Loud, hot and flooded with thousands of people, the Coca-Cola Stage is the place to be to get the full, messy music festival experience. We’ll be taking in the Dragonette, Carly Rae Jepsen and K’naan shows, but there are also country music stars like Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, among others, playing at venues throughout Calgary. See the full line-up and schedule here.

Zip Thrills
New this year for the centennial celebration, visit the Zip-Line on the Midway for something out of the ordinary. This feature ride will be approximately 80 feet high, 850 feet long, and the brave-enough will reach speeds of up to 60 km/hour. This is the largest temporary freestanding zip-line in North America, so bring your waterproof mascara and a hairbrush for post-ride touch-ups.

Photography by Flickr/Calgary Reviews

The Line Dance Necessities
Word has it that Calgary was populated through the art of square dancing. Guarantee an authentic line-dancing experience at Ranchman’s, your go-to for off-grounds Stampede fun and legendary line dancing sessions. See their full list of events and concert after-parties here.

July 6–15
9615 Macleod Trail South, Calgary

The Running of the Bulls
Want to ride the proverbial bull, but keep your distance from the crowds? Catch The Running of the Bulls live from Pamplona, Spain, at resto-lounge Ox & Angela anytime during Stampede week. Chef Peter Swarbrick will be preparing a traditional post-bullfighter’s dinner with thin slices of beef and oxtail. And don’t forget to try one of their signature mojitos while you’re at it.

July 6–14
Ox & Angela, 528 17th Ave. SW Calgary

Photo courtesy of Hotel Arts

Recovery Zone
After all the dusty crowds, late nights and questionable eating, Skoah is offering a limited-time-only Stampede Recovery Facial for $60. Soothe your stressed out scalp, lift tired eyes and cleanse yourself of toxins (and sins?) in under an hour.

July 1–15
Unit 159, Chinook Centre, 6455 MacLeod Trail SW, Calgary; 116 10th St. NW, Calgary

Poolside Detox
Wrap up your Stampede experience on a high note, and cool off poolside at Hotel Arts. Located in the heart of downtown Calgary, this contemporary boutique hotel has a raw bar restaurant and a full-service patio bar with an award-winning cocktail list. Lined with Italian Bisazza glass tiles and surrounded by a private courtyard, this outdoor pool is an escape from all the thunderous Stampede hustle. So grab your bikini, sunnies and floppy hats, and stow away your western gear till next year. This cowgirl is done.

Hotel Arts, 119-12th Ave. SW, Calgary

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