Once a year, always in July, Calgary’s focus shifts to a little something called the Calgary Stampede. Hailed as “the greatest outdoor show on earth,” it’s more than just bull-riding, barrel racing and crop tops; it’s a cultural phenomenon that’s hard to truly appreciate until you experience it firsthand.
For 10 days, you can feel a surge of energy in the streets. And it’s not just tourists—though there are a lot of those, too. It’s got as much spirit as Olympic Games or World Cup soccer, and its economic impact is huge. The Stampede contributes $300 million to the City of Calgary alone, not to mention the rest of the province. (After all, this ain’t the Stampede’s first rodeo.)
Whether you’re on-the-ground or transfixed from afar, you’ll want to join in the fun on Twitter for #Stampede2015 during the festivities—wrapping up on July 12. Here, we’ve assembled 10 of the most informative authorities on the Stampede who we think you’ll want to follow to get the most out of your experience:
1. @calgarystampede—the official home of all-things-Stampede! Follow to find out about volunteer opportunities, ticket discounts, Nashville North news, Superdogs showtimes, rodeo news and the best parties in town.
2. @TourismCalgary—the city’s tourism handle is your one-stop-shop for every restaurant and patio activation, authentic local experiences and promotions happening during Stampede madness.
3. @nenshi—we expect Mayor of Calgary Naheed Nenshi to be tweeting not only from the Stampede itself, but also RTing traffic and other news important to his fellow tweeps near and far.
4. @cocacola_ca—our Calgary office tells us that the Coca-Cola Stage is “a really big deal” during the Stampede, and we don’t think they’re just saying so because Coke’s our client. Follow for all of the free concert announcements and stage-side excitement.
5. @ShowbandCS—believe it or not, the Stampede Showband (the Calgary Stampede’s official marching band) has a very active Twitter feed! Watch for band showtimes, great fan photos and music news.
6. @Crackmacs—an Ontarian-turned-Albertan, this popular Calgary-based Tweeter is most likely to keep you posted on all the unofficial Stampede shenanigans and the edgier side of Calgary in July.
7. @Lammles and @AlbertaBoot—so we’re cheating with a two-in-one…but you’ll forgive us because it’s too hard to choose the best of the west when it comes to Stampede fashion tips. If you’re Stampede-bound, find out how to get a pair of custom-made snakeskin boots or find the right outfit from Wrangler thanks to these two.
8. @stmpdr—everything Stampede, all the time. An entire Twitter feed devoted solely to the Calgary Stampede! Comprehensive event listings, celebrity spotting, parties, food and drink, contest links…it’s all here.
9. @StampedeBreakF—a tradition for more than 85 years, there are famous pancake breakfasts during all 10 days of the Stampede. This Twitter handle lists all of the free (yes, FREE!) and not-so-free pancake breakies happening throughout the city.
10. @mmmbutters—for the best Stampede food tips (like, is that $100 hot dog really worth it?), and stories from the centre of it all, the editor of The Huffington Post Canada’s Alberta edition should be one of your go-to sources.