Best use of staircase
Winner: The west entrance of the Saddledome where a huge hot dog mural distracts you from the unfortunate closure of the building.
Best use of Styrofoam
Winner: The giant horse heads in Draft Horse Town, which is near the Northern Lights Arena (where you are most likely to spot a baby animal). The horse heads were built by F & D Scene Changes for a past Grandstand show and recycled this year as decoration on the grounds.
Best use of flotation device
Winner: Rigid Hall Inflatable Boat from HMCS Tecumseh Calgary’s Naval Reserve Division. It’s part of the Armed Forces display on the west side of the Saddledome, which is the winner of best place to spot a man (or woman) in uniform.
Winner: Daug Sauter and his horse, Hamish, hail from Oklahoma, and despite Hamish’s glossy coat of hair, Sauter has the steed beat with this moustache.
Best table dancing
Winner: Pinky the three-month-old dairy goat in the Agrium Ag-tivity in the City tent.
Best example of going too far
Winner: Deep fried butter ($6 or $8 with ice cream). Don’t over think this one. It is exactly what it says it is. Bite into the pastry and experience a burst of liquid butter. It could have been so right, but it is just so wrong.
Best official souvenir
Winner: This Centennial Pendleton Blanket ($350), available at the official store of the Calgary Stampede, is made from virgin wool and crafted in classic Western style.
Best use of a deep fryer
Winner: Deep fried cheese at Hot Wisconsin Cheese. Unlike the butter, this real cheddar cheese is lightly battered and deep fried just enough to create a gooey consistency. This cheese is also the best dish to share on the midway, with ten nuggets of goodness.
Best sign for telling it like it is
The meat market is Second to None Meats in Weadickville, which is also where you can get the best value meal with hot dogs that are $2.
Best example of summer trends
Apollo and Jitterbug from Diamond Valley Farm effortlessly rocking polka dots.