How one chuckwagon driver started the tradition of Stampede pancake breakfasts

Howdy everyone!

Stampede is fast approaching, and for Queen Maggie, Princess Chelsey and me that means our schedule is getting pretty full. As you know, we’ve travelled all over the world and been to many different kinds of events during our reign. One thing that has a special place in my heart though, are the pancake breakfasts. As a trio, we’ve already attended dozens this year and we will be attending dozens more over the next couple of weeks. But what makes those early morning flapjacks so special? Why do we, as Albertans, always seem to pull out the griddles to celebrate rodeos, the end of school years and office parties? Well, I’ve done a little investigating and managed to find a pretty great story about the origins of pancake breakfasts…

Pancakes _2

The year was1923, a special one for the Calgary Stampede – it was the first time that it was held in conjunction with the annual Calgary Exhibition in late June/early July. Guy Weadick worked hard to make the 1923 Stampede a great one. Indeed, if you had a time machine and went back to that Stampede you’d actually recognize a lot. He enticed businesses to decorate, city folk to dress western, held the first chuckwagon races, and really pushed the whole city to embrace the celebration. There was dancing on Stephen Ave and lots of cowboys around. Weadick even persuaded some of the chuckwagon drivers to go downtown to give a glimpse of their wagons to the public on the morning of Thursday, July 9 (the first day of the Stampede).


There, they unloaded their stoves and set up shop, cooking pancakes. One of them, Jack Morton, started sharing flapjacks with the people who had come to watch and so the tradition of the pancake breakfast was born! The pancake breakfast became a Calgary symbol for western hospitality and has remained as such ever since. (Jack Morton, by the way, was a real character and known for generosity – he had a pet badger; there’s a story out there that when one of his friends had a few cattle die in a blizzard, Morton replaced the loss out of his own pocket.)

So there you have it folks, straight out of the Stampede Archives (shout out to Shannon Murray, Stampede History extraordinaire, for sharing this fun anecdote with me)! One thing I love most about Stampede is how it brings our city together, and the tradition of the pancake breakfast has not only stood the test of time, but become a signature sign of western welcome in this part of Canada that you don’t see anywhere else.

Pacake Breakfasts

Have you planned what pancake breakfast(s) you’ll be attending this year? The Stampede Caravan Committee has released a schedule of the breakfast they’ll be hosting throughout the ten days and there’s sure to be something near you. Check out their website at and be sure to keep an eye out for us, we just might be flipping your flapjacks one morning!

Only two days to go, can you believe it?!

Much love & happy trails,

Princess B

PS. Your 90’s Country Flashback Song of the Week is none other than Rodeo by my favourite, Garth Brooks. What better way to get in the spirit for Stampede, right?!

Win your way to the 2016 Stampede at the Community Round Up!

The Next Generation committee is getting very excited about Stampede 2016, and we hope you can all join us for a pre-Stampede community event to celebrate!

Come on down for your first Stampede pancakes of the season on Saturday, May 28 at the Stampede Community Round Up! We are presenting this event in partnership with the Centre for Newcomers. Find us outside the Pacific Place Mall (999 36 St NE) from 9 a.m. to noon. More info here.

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There will be many interactive activities for kids to get in some hands-on learning about animals and agriculture, including a petting zoo!

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5 Reasons not to miss the Community Round Up on May 28!

The Calgary Stampede and Centre for Newcomers are excited to invite you to put on your cowboy hat and mosey over to the Community Round Up on Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m. to noon outside the Pacific Place Mall (999 36 St NE). Here are five reasons not to miss this year’s Community Round Up:

Your first Stampede pancake in 2016! There’s a skill involved with mixing the perfect pancake batter and flipping those golden flapjacks to perfection. Our Stampede Caravan committee has got that skill down to a science. Don’t forget about the sausages and drizzling maple syrup. We’re drooling just thinking about our first Stampede breakfast of the year.

Photo Credit: Tye Carson / Calgary StampedeExtend your yahoos to the newest members of our community. The Community Round Up is partnering with the Centre for Newcomers for this event to give new Calgarians a warm Stampede welcome and an introduction to the 10-day festival. We know our city’s weather can be confusing, but going to the Stampede for the first time doesn’t have to be. We’ll have information for first-time Stampede goers about how to get to Stampede Park, Value Days and all the amazing things to do on Stampede Park for 10 days in July.

All the fun you can have on a Saturday morning with furry friends. Want to experience the farm while in the city limits? Community Round Up will have a petting zoo this year! Get up close to all the barnyard animals you grew up loving. There will be plenty of great photo opportunities capturing your little ones meeting these new furry friends!

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn / Calgary Stampede



















Dust off your dancing boots. Square dancing, live music and a stage of community cultural programming – all this before noon on Saturday! Two-step with Harry the Horse or watch your local Punjabi dance class perform. There’s entertainment for everybody at Community Round Up.

Photo Credit: Shaun Robinson / Calgary Stampede

Photo Credit: Shaun Robinson / Calgary Stampede

Sneak a peek before Sneak-A-Peek. Community Round Up is as close as you can get to experiencing the Stampede before it starts: the Stampede Showband, roping demonstrations and the best excuse to dig your western wear out of the back of your closet. And did we mention a pancake breakfast?



Pancake breakfast at sunset?

That’s right – it’s a Calgary Ismaili Muslim community tradition that happened last night. Calgary Stampede volunteers and employees came out to help celebrate the 19th Calgary Ismaili Muslim community pancake breakfast.


Many Calgarians look forward to attending this annual pancake breakfast because while it’s a traditional pancake breakfast, there is also a midway, family friendly events and live music. It’s also a great way of breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. This year, the 19th Ismaili Muslim Community breakfast (second annual Break the Fast), is raising funds for Calgary Reads.


Pictured: Harry the Horse helpfully showing Break the Fast attendees how to successfully win on the mini midway. It’s all the writs! 


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2015 Community Round Up

A tradition born from centennial celebrations, Community Round Up is as close as you can get to experiencing Stampede time before July! Each year, rain or shine, the Calgary Stampede brings the best it has to offer–everything from music, roping, riding and cooking– to throw the biggest block party you can imagine.


It was a beautiful day! More than 2,500 people attended Community Round Up this year and had a blast with us at Pacific Place Mall.

On Saturday, June 6, Stampede volunteer committees: Community Projects & Development committee, along side, Blacksmith, Caravan, Chuckwagon, Downtown Attractions, Draft Horse Town, Historical, Promotion, Indian Events, Next Generation, Rodeo, Stampede Band and Western Showcase committees brought the hootenanny to the north east quadrant of the city.  Continue reading

Cowboy Poetry Week: “Pancakes”

In honour of Cowboy Poetry Week, Sunday, April 19 to Saturday, April 25, we are featuring poems by Doris Daley! Today’s poem is called “Pancakes.”

Born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, Doris Daley writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humour, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD.

Pictured: A volunteer at a Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast

Pictured: A volunteer at a Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast


It was love at first sight when we met at the dance,

A short order cook on the prowl for romance.

We cheered at the rodeo, bet on the chucks

We partied as hard as a bucking bull bucks.

We fueled the affair with big rock and steaks

But love was ignited with his first stack of cakes.

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2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days

Each year, the Queens’ Alumni committee and Agriculture Education committee team up to host Giddy Up Aggie Days, a free event for special needs children and their families.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days

The 2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days breakfast kicked off bright and early at 7:30 a.m. in the Stampede Corral — past Calgary Stampede queens and volunteers from Maxim Power Corp. worked hard to feed more than 700 registered families and their caregivers.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days volunteers from Maxium Power Corp.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days volunteers from Maxium Power Corp. busy serving up pancakes to our guests.

We saw a lot of happy faces munching on pancakes as notable guests, such as the Stampede Queen and Princesses, past Indian Princesses and several rodeo queens, mixed and mingled through the crowds.

2015 Giddy Up Aggie Days

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Calgary’s Pancake Picasso

Ryen Hodgson has been delighting patrons of the Belmont Diner with his pancake creations for more than 14 years– what started as a simple attempt to make mouse ear shaped pancakes for children, has grown into an art-form Belmont is now famous for. I paid him a visit to learn more about his tasty artwork and learned more about how to create  pancake paintings at home.

Pictured: Ryen Hodgson painting with pancakes.

Pictured: Ryen Hodgson painting with pancakes.

Over pancakes, (of course!) Hodgson talked about his transition from using jugs to shape three-circled mouse ears, to using squeeze bottles for better precision. Now he and his team are known for their ability to create everything from Stormtroppers to sloths– and even Harry the Horse! Anything you can think of, Hodgson can replicate in pancake form.

For the last eight months, Hodgson and fellow chef, Trent Pattison, have tweaked their top-secret buttermilk batter mixture to perfection: a consistency that isn’t too thick and is just viscous enough to paint with. The batter has to be smooth–the proper ratio of eggs, baking powder, buttermilk and flour–no chunks, or else it’ll jam up the squirt bottle nozzle and ruin your masterpiece!

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Suncor Energy Family Day- coming up this Sunday July 11, 2010

Fun and Laughter abound at the Suncor Energy Family Day!

Howdy all y’all Calgary Stampede blog followers! How excited are you that The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has finally arrived? I know that I certainly am!  There are so many great old favourites and new additions on park this year to partake in.

One great tradition that many families look forward to is coming up this Sunday, July 11, 2010. The free Suncor Energy Family Day Breakfast will take place this Sunday from 7:00-9:30 a.m., and will be served to the first 20,000 people with a breakfast ticket (distributed at the entrances) in the Grandstand Courtyard. Can you believe the first 20,000 people through the gates will be granted FREE admission as well as be served up some of the best pancakes in town?? If that wasn’t enough to lure you early risers down to the grounds, there will also be a free show on the Grandstand Stage from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

There will also be a special 10.a.m. show of the President’s Choice SUPERDOGS on Suncor Energy Family Day (Sunday, July 11). So if you’re trying to pack some more action into your family outing, make sure to check out the President’s Choice SUPERDOGS on the upper level of the Big Four Building. If you have children, or if you’re a dog lover, there’s not much more to say; you will absolutely love this show!

So why not take advantage of just one of the many amazing deals to be found at Calgary Stampede 2010 and enjoy the rest of your free entrance on park by exploring so much more that Stampede has to offer. Hope to see you in the line! Also just as a fun suggestion, why not make friends with some people around you…find out where they’ve travelled from, what their favorite midway ride or food is and share your findings or photos on Twitter at @calgarystampede , or on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page. Enjoy the pancakes and Western Hospitality!

Some entertainers from last years' festivities.