GRAB A TREAT: What’s new on the Midway for 2011

If you’ve finished turning your stomach inside out on the rides, enjoying the edible treats of the Calgary Stampede Midway is a must.

The Midway is full of classic fair food as well as strange culinary creations…what will be your new favorite in 2011?

Sausage Hoagie

Colossal Onion –“One large onion which is cut to resemble a flower, breaded and deep fried”


Deep Fried Pop Tart

Moowich – “Chocolate chip cookie, ice cream, chocolate Chip cookie”


Doughnut Burger – “Glazed donut, hamburger and fixings, Glazed Donut”


Samosas – brought to you by Calgary’s own Rajdoot restaurant

Turkeytini -“Turkey, mashed potatoes, maybe stuffing, gravy and a little cranberry sauce on top all served in a martini glass”

Pork chop-on-a-stick – Mmmmm…..

Chicken Cheese Steak Sandwich

Kubie Korn Balls – “Kubasa slices dipped in batter and deep fired till golden brown”

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich – “Deep fried pork tenderloin cutlet about the size of your head on a bun”


Kubie Korn Dog

Mac & Cheese Pizza

Gourmet Pretzel Sticks

10 different flavors of Poutine – BBQ chicken, Mexican, Italian, Greek, as a start.

See you out on the midway!!!

Stampede 2011 Staring “Harry the Horse”

Our popular Stampede Packs will be back again for the 2011 edition of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
Here is a sneak peek at the NEW Kids “Stampede Pack” for 2011. This year’s pack stars our very own Harry the Horse on the front.
Stampede packs can be purchased in the BMO centre, Hall A, Stampede Park during the festival, July 8 – 17, 2011
Post a picture of yourself or a family member wearing a past years “stampede” pack on the Calgary Stampede facebook page and you will be entered into a draw for free 2011 CS Stampede Pack.

Post your picture by March 31st, 2011, drawing to be made on April 1, 2011
Stay tuned for a sneak peek and a chance to win a NEW Virgin Radio pack

This Ain’t Your Regular Saddle Bag

Our popular Stampede Packs will be back again for the 2011 edition of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

Here is a sneak peek at the NEW Calgary Stampede “Stampede Pack” for 2011. This year’s pack is hot, so make sure to get yours before they are gone.

Stampede packs can be purchased in the BMO centre, Hall A, Stampede Park during the festival, July 8 – 17, 2011

Post a picture of yourself or a family member wearing a past years “stampede” pack, or “like” this years pack on facebook and you will be entered into a draw for free 2011 CS Stampede Pack.

Post your picture by March 8th, 2011, drawing to be made on March 9th, 2011

Stay tuned for a sneak peek and a chance to win a NEW 2011 CS kids pack

2011 Vendor Applications are now available!

Well, its that time of year again – we’re already thinking about Stampede here in the Midway department, and that means we’re taking applications for vendor and exhibitor space for Stampede 2011!

If you or someone you know has a great new food or unique new product and think you have what it takes to participate in The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, we’d love to see your application.  We are always looking for great looking booths with new and unique items.

Visit for the application guidebook and application forms.  Please make sure you read the guidebook closely before submitting your application to make sure that your booth and product meets our requirements.  This is a highly competitive process, and we receive more applications that we have room for.  What we’re looking for is outlined in the guidebook, and if you have more questions than the book can answer, our contact information.

Here are some photos of award winning booths from Stampede 2010, so that you have an idea of the great things we look forward to bringing our guests every year!

Hers is a committee award winner, the Candytime booth.

Best Merchandise Booth, Yerba Mate Tea

Best Food Booth, Butcher Boys London Broil

Shopping Spree at Stampede!

Been through the market once or twice?  Seen something you really want, but just haven’t got the cash to get it?

Well then, make sure to enter the Stampede Market shopping spree contest!  A draw will be held on Thursday to win a $1500 shopping spree for all the vendors in the Stampede Market.  So, you could pick up those boots you liked, or that massage pad that felt so great on your back, or load up on mini donuts for ALL your friends.

Shopping takes place on Friday afternoon, so when you enter make sure you’re available (since if you’re not, you can’t claim the prize).  Visit the 101.5 Energy FM booth in the Stampede Market, and enter your name to win.  We’ll be drawing on Thursday and contacting the winner, and inviting them back down on Friday.  You’ll get two personal shoppers to go with you, and the chance to share with Calgary all your purchases on the radio.  It’s timed though, so make sure you preshop so you don’t run out of time to spend all your money!

Stampede Market – the best shopping around!

Where can you find fancy cowboy boots along side the latest gadgets and gizmos?  The Stampede Market, of course!  All your traditional favourites, such as the slicer and the massage pads are back, as well as many new products to check out.  And don’t forget all the yummy treats inside as well.  There are different kinds of ice cream (dippin’ dots, shakes and nitro ice cream), candied nuts, fudge, mini cakes and mini donuts; and of course coffee and lemonade.

Here’s of some of the great new stuff you’ll find in the Stampede Market – but you should really come and check it out for yourself.  You can get your boots shined, vibrate off that last corndog you tried, or get your photo taken in old fashioned costumes or in front of a Saskatchewan green screen.  There’s giftware from all over the world, including Burma, Tanzania and Kenya, Ecuador, and all over the UK.  There is beautiful wood furniture made of mesquite and teak, and the artists are here and would love to explain their work.  Get in shape with sketchers shape-ups, and yoga wear as well.  There is every kind of jewellery you can think of, from amber to silver, stones and bling. 

We have aromatherapy and pet accessories, along with plenty of clothing and hats.  Of course, there are all the home gadgets you can imagine, from the robotic vacuum to the latest steam cleaner to the garlic grater.  There are hot tubs and lawn swings, massage chairs and beds, and plenty of pillows and silk bedding to put on them.  You can pick up a perfume, detox your feet or smooth out your legs.  There are plenty of beauty products, for your face, your skin and your hair – you can even bling it out.  There are kitchen appliances, like knives and cookware, as well as ladders, hoses and nozzles for the backyard.

As you can see, there is something for everyone.  To see a complete listing, click this link:

Don’t forget to visit the 101.5 Energy FM booth and enter to win a $1500 Market Shopping spree.  So, bring your credit card, and happy shopping!

And the best new food on the Midway is….

Sneak-a-peek night and there are a ton of new foods out on the Stampede Midway.  We asked 4 of our celebrity judges to help us select the best new food outside.  John Gilchrist, food critic extraordinaire, Gord Gillies from Global TV, Heath Brown from CTV and Calgary’s own Beesley gamely sampled 10 new foods at Stampede, including cheese-on-a-stick and cheddar nuggets, deep fried dill pickles, Belgian waffles, taquitos, Japanese hot dogs, meat pies, chicken on a stick, chocolate-brownies-on-a-stick, and pulled pork parfait.  After intense deliberation, our judges have come up with the winner and 3 runners up for best new food of Stampede 2010.

Sampling the Pulled Pork Parfait

 Congratulations to our winner, Big T’s BBQ with their Pulled Pork Parfait!

Our judges and winners displaying the "Plate" prize.

And the 3 runners up are Rocky Mountain Meat Pies, Uncle Nicks Chocolate Brownies-on-a-stick, and Chicken-on-a-stick tied with Belgian waffles.

Inspecting the cheese-on-a-stick

The chocolate brownie-on-a-stick (with cherries and whipped cream to boot!)

Our judges hard at work deliberating.

Western Oasis Coming to Life

Well, its been a busy week with all the setup around Stampede Park.  Even in the calm, cool Western Oasis, setup has been busy!

Watering the plants and getting the Oasis set up!

Over the last week, the construction team has worked during the day to set up the booths, build the Window on the West Stage and the Kitchen Theatre.  Then, at night, the landscape designers have been building, planting and watering all the rock and water features, and getting all the lush vegitation in.  Some of the biggest rocks had to come in with bobcats and large forklifts to get them into place.

 It’s been around-the-clock work in the Oasis for the last week to get everything in and built.  The decor team has also been busy, placing all sorts of interesting and authentic props.  Look for an outhouse, a shower, a red river cart and an old Bay blanket when you’re visiting the Oasis.

Some of the life sized bronzes have arrived as well.  They’re safely installed in their display homes, tucked in amonst the homestead, or set up around the campfires that fit each piece of art’s own uniqueness.

One of the large water features in the Western Oasis

 The Oasis team has been working with the lighting designer on what all the lights will look like to bring the ambience of the area to life once Stampede starts.  Tomorrow, the artists will be moving their pieces in, and then it will really start to look like an art show.  The Waltzing Waters will also be set up, so you can come and watch the dancing fountain, and when you show up, keep an eye out for some of the bronzes… that might not be real bronzes after all!

The Rides and Concessions are arriving!

Cranes all ready to go!

If you’ve driven by Stampede Park over the last few days, you have seen the flurry of activity going on; the cranes and forklifts, and the colourful canopies of all the tents and trailers showing up on park.

Since Tuesday morning, we’ve been busy greeting North American Midway Entertainment, our Midway Partner, as well as many independent vendors who come to Stampede to provide the myriad of yummy treats, thrill rides, temporary tattoos and caricatures.

Cranes out to start setting up the rides

Everyone shows up on their own schedule, pulling trailers and trucks containing all their equipment carefully packed up inside.  They all know their booth location numbers ahead of time, and if they don’t – they call me!  They head to their spot, and start the process of offloading the truck, and putting their booths in the right spot.  Sometimes it takes a crane to offload something, or a forklift to move a booth a few feet into the perfect place.

Once the booths are in place, our electricians and plumbers make their way around the park, hooking everyone up for the power and water they ordered to get their booths up and running.  Then, they have to clean everything, check to make sure its working, make any repairs, test the lights and get ready to roll.  They have to check in to our office, pick up their packages that contain all the info they need to know, clear up any bills, get inspected and then hopefully get to take a break for a couple of days or at least a couple of hours.

The new midway ride the Skater, arriving on park on its truck from Winnipeg

So, when you come down to Stampede this year, and you see all the lights, hear the music and sample your favourite treat, now you know how it all works.

Midway Food Checklist

Wondering how you’re going to keep track of everything you want to eat on the Midway this year?  Well, we’ve come up with a handy checklist of all the food you could eat out there – the wild and wacky, as well as the tried and true.  So, print off this list, and check off the items once you’ve had ‘em.  But maybe wait until after riding the rides…

 The New Ones

___ Hot Wisconson Cheese

___ Belgian Waffles

___ Pulled pork parfait

___ Wood fired pizza

___ Meat Pies

The Wacky Ones

___ Alligator Pizza

___ Deep fried dill pickles

___ Japanese hot dog

___ Taco in a bag

___ Deep fried jelly beans

The Ones-on-a-stick

___ Pizza-on-a-stick

___ Chicken-on-a-stick

___ Cheesecake-on-a-stick

___ Pickle-on-a-stick

___ Chipstix (potato-on-a-stick)

The Classic Ones

___ Corndog

___ Mini Donuts

___ Fresh lemonade

___ Cotton candy

___ Fudge


What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever had on a pizza?  Well, if your choices usually tend towards the pepperoni & mushroom or cheese varieties, this Stampede is your chance to branch out – with cricket pizza and alligator pizza. 

Yes, you read that right.  Cricket and alligator pizza.  In case you missed it, cricket and alligator pizza were available last year, and they are back for 2010, but only at 7pm daily and on a limited first come, first serve basis, so don’t miss out!

Not to worry, these toppings are edible and completely safe.  The crickets are imported from a producer who specializes in the weird and wonderful of the food world.  They are cheese and bacon flavoured as well as sour cream and onion flavoured, and are grown with the intention of being fully edible.  Alligator meat is a delicacy too…mmm, tastes like chicken!

You’ll find this pizza in the Pizza-on-a-Stick trailer across from Nashville North.  So, whether it takes a dare, some liquid courage – or maybe you’re naturally inclined to be culinarily adventurous, make sure you give this pizza a try.

Have food Sensitivities? What’s on the Midway for you?



Food is everywhere on the midway. But, for people with food sensitivities, it can be challenging to find a treat or snack that works. With that in mind, we asked Sheila Blacklock, a registered dietician, and our midway food vendors to help us pull together a list of a few yummy options for our food-sensitive visitors. Remember, it’s always good practice to ask vendors how they prepare their foods to make sure your particular needs are met.  And, if you’re in doubt, pack a snack for your day at the Stampede, making sure you’ve got what you need to have a fun and safe day on Park.

Gluten-free or lactose intolerant?  Check out Avatara Pizza, located across from the Dream Home, for some gluten-free, lactose-free and diabetes friendly menu items. Or, try the gluten-free bison ribs and burgers at Sizzlin’ Bison Grill located just north of the Nashville North tent.

Thirsty? Lemon Heaven Lemonade, with four locations on Stampede Park, carry gluten-free products and if you ask, they’ll whip up a sugar-free version for people with diabetes.

Looking for a hormone, steroid, antibiotic-free and gluten-free hot dog on Park? Second to None Meats products are locally grown and produced and all are hormone, steroid and antibiotic free.  You’ll find them in Weadickville.

Vegetarian?  How about a meatless pie from Rocky Mountain Pies located across from Jaycee Park. And, Foods of Mexico, located south of the Stampede Corral lists meatless burritos, tacos and taco salad with refried beans on their menu choices.

Dining at a Premium Seating or restaurant venue?  Please inform your server of any sensitivities, ask them questions, and our kitchen would be happy to address your needs.

Midway Treats? Cotton candy, mini-donuts, hot Wisconsin cheese, candy apples, fudge, Corn on the Cob and deep fried pickles. These yummy treats that will fit into any balanced diet when enjoyed in moderation, so for the “10 days of fun” they might even make the list for our food sensitive visitors.

We hope these suggestions give you some options for helping you to find food that you can enjoy during your visit to the Stampede. See you in July!

What Does Your Corn Dog Say About You?

We all know the smell; we wait for it all year. It’s that unmistakable aroma of the sweet yet salty, crispy yet soft, irresistible midway treat; the corn dog. Although there are countless ways to enjoy this mouth watering treat, we all have our own personal preference. And to those die-hard enthusiasts, we dress our dog the same way year after year.

The purists have their corn dog strait up. Maybe it’s the belief that the dog in itself is good enough on its own, or maybe you’re just not willing to contend with the sticky condiments dripping while walking and eating.

Then there are the stripers. We’ve all seen these walking the midway; the single stripe of vibrant yellow, red or both dominating the outside of the corn dog. This way of dressing your dog suggests ones desire for the enhancement of a condiment, yet speed of application is paramount. The draw of the midway and its bright lights and loud noises require you to be tied up at the condiment station for minimal time.

If you’re a free-stlyer, you dress your corn dog however, whenever. This could mean, zig-zag, dots, one big glob, well, you get the idea. You’re at the Calgary Stampede to enjoy the full-on assault of the senses. You don’t care how you dress your dog, or do you? How do you dress your Corn Dog?

Either way, the corn dog has long since been a staple on the midway and shows no signs of fading. The only question that remains is whether or not you’re willing to share?

New this year – Gourmet Hot Dogs!

Japanese Dog: terriyaki sauce, fried onion, japanese mayo and seaweed

This just in – we’ve just confirmed that the Japanese Hot Dog is coming to Stampede!  Remember the most popular food from the Vancouver Olympics?  Well, we’ll have our own version of it at Stampede this year.  Think of a hot dog, with terriyaki sauce, fried onion, japanese mayo and seaweed.  We’re excited to have it here at Stampede this year for everyone who couldn’t make it out to the Olympics to try.

 If seaweed isn’t quite your thing, not to worry, there are other flavours to try.  How about the Chicago Dog – with pickle, tomato, peppers, mustard, relish and celery salt.  Or the Mexican dog, with bacon, tomato, fried onion, homemade jalapeno sauce and mayo.  You can even make your own gourmet concoction using toppings like fried egg, cheese, chilli, lettuce, mushrooms, or sauerkraut.

 Look for the booth just past the Coca-Cola stage, on your way to the midway.  And wipe that drool off your chin before it drips on to your keyboard.

Mmmmmmmmmmm.......... Chicago dog

Painting The Midway

This morning at 6am was the official start to 2010 Stampede midway set-up. We call it “painting the midway”

Every year at the beginning of June we pull out our two trusty line stripers, boxes of special striping paint, a giant wheel of string and our brand new, infamous measuring wheel (our old one got run over by the police – long story).

Somehow, we have to make everything that comes to the Calgary Stampede fit into the space we have on park. We take our scale midway map and measure everything out on the ground, every foot counts, so we have to be bang on.

Once we have measured strategic points with our measuring wheel, we put string on the ground to keep a line, point A to point B, nice and straight. Or as straight as you can in the cold and wind today!

This morning we were measuring out the Midway Circus FMX track, as well as where the portable washroom buildings go by Nashville North, and the perimeter space for the Bull’s Eye Cook Shack.

We will spend each morning this week painting the midway, as well as another week after the Oil show, finishing up the little details. All the white dotted lines and arrows you see all over the parking lot over the next few weeks, that’s what we’ve been up to!

Christine V using the Striper to paint the Midway Circus