The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced the cancellation of this year's Calgary Stampede, but the city will still be treated to fireworks this year.
And the Stampede promises the display will be massive — bigger and higher than traditional Stampede fireworks.
"If you can see the city skyline, you'll be able to see the fireworks," the Stampede said on its website.
The show, called the Bell Fireworks Spectacular, will light up the night sky on Friday, July 3, and Sunday, July 12, at 11 p.m.
And, surprise! Friday seems to be one of the few days with no rain in the forecast, according to Environment Canada, which predicts sunny weather with a high of 27 C in the day and clear skies at night.
The grounds will be closed to the public for the fireworks, as the entire park will be used to put on the display.
Stampede breakfast, mini-doughnuts, food trucks planned
On April 23, it was announced that the annual rodeo, midway and exhibition wouldn't happen this year because of the public health crisis, the first time Calgary's signature event has been cancelled since 1923.
However, along with the fireworks, Stampede officials have also promised there will still be a Stampede breakfast and some of those mini doughnuts — in a pandemic-aware, physically distant format.
The Stampede is setting up a mini doughnut drive-thru on the grounds, operating July 6-11. That will be open daily from noon to 9 p.m. Pre-purchasing will be available soon at the Calgary Stampede website.
For the kids, the Stampede is hosting a free pancake breakfast — also drive-thru — on the grounds on July 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Advance registration is required and will be available soon at the Calgary Stampede website.
And on July 4 and 5, the Stampede has organized a food truck rally on the grounds and at other locations that will be announced at a later date.
Stampede usually pumps $540M into economy annually
The Stampede cancellation is a major blow to a city and province already reeling from the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns coupled with the collapse of energy prices.
On average over the past five years, the summer event has brought in $79.2 million in gross revenue and turned a profit of $21.4 million after expenses.
The Calgary Stampede draws more than one million visitors to the city each year and, according to the Conference Board of Canada, it pumps $540 million into the provincial economy annually.
The Stampede's year-round events contribute about $110.9 million to Calgary's GDP, the board says.