Bars hoping for big parties at Stampede tents

·2 min read
Whiskey Rose Saloon managing partner Chris Jamieson says he hopes lots of people head out to the saloon's Stampede tent on 17th Avenue S.W. (Tom Ross/CBC - image credit)
Whiskey Rose Saloon managing partner Chris Jamieson says he hopes lots of people head out to the saloon's Stampede tent on 17th Avenue S.W. (Tom Ross/CBC - image credit)

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic subduing western parties around Calgary, this year's Stampede with no health restrictions should draw out big crowds.

One big feature of the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" missing for the past two years was the iconic tents that sprout up around the city bringing music, dancing and drinking under one plastic roof.

The usual suspects will be back for 2022, like Cowboys and Nashville North on the Stampede grounds. But there are also a couple of new ones that can draw people away from the grounds and still keep the party alive.

"We really need people to translate their excitement into hitting the streets, getting your boots onto the ground and hitting these Stampede tents," said Chris Jamieson, managing partner of Whiskey Rose Saloon.

Tom Ross/CBC
Tom Ross/CBC

Whiskey Rose is opening a tent right on 17th Avenue S.W., and despite the location, it's also promised to provide an atmosphere that's a bit more intimate.

"We know over the course of Stampede, the tent gets a little smelly, starts to be a little worse for wear and the washrooms aren't great. We put a lot of work into this staying really top level," said Jamieson.

If you're looking to travel a bit farther away from the midway and mini donuts, The Outlier is aptly named in the southeast Manchester industrial area and is connected to Prairie Emporium. This one is promising a bit of a different feeling.

"Vintage couches, vintage tables and chairs and just really fun stuff to make you feel like you're in a western saloon but perhaps in sort of like a Wes Anderson movie," said co-owner Dan Clapson.

Tom Ross/CBC
Tom Ross/CBC

Also outside of the park, Wildhorse Saloon is up again along Sixth Avenue S.W., and the National tent is getting set up on 10th Avenue S.W.

But no matter where you go, as long as you're ready to celebrate the first full Stampede since the pandemic began, business owners will be happy.

"There's a lot of other events going on, and everybody's got to come out and support because we don't get to do cool stuff like this without the support of our community," said Jamieson.

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