Not My First Rodeo: Evan Woolley

Tips from longtime Calgarians who have been going to the Stampede since they were kids.

Name: Evan Woolley

Occupation: City Councillor, Ward 8

I’ve lived in Calgary since: Birth. I was born across on the other side of Macleod Trail from the Stampede grounds at the old Holy Cross hospital.

I’ve been going to the Stampede since: I was probably one year old. I’ve missed two Stampedes in my 34 years.

My favourite Stampede memory is: Going to the midway as a kid and just eating so much junk food. I have a very specific memory of myself with cotton candy in the bouncy fun house with my sisters and just laughing out of sheer joy and being totally over the moon.

These days, my typical Stampede includes: I love going down to the chuckwagon races and hanging out on the tarmac, betting loonies on the races and having a couple beers with friends. I also have official work-related things like the parade and different pancake breakfasts that I go to. All of the city council members have to be in the parade. Usually no one cares about seeing politicians in a parade, but one thing the Stampede does that’s really kind is they give us really cool cars to ride in. Otherwise, it’s really just about spending time in the communities in your ward. The Stampede grounds are a focal point, but it’s really about neighbours and communities connecting with each other, hanging with people I already know and people I haven’t met yet.

My favourite Stampede attraction is: The Zipper!

My favourite Stampede food is: Corndogs.

My favourite Stampede outfit is: I wear very classic jeans, boots, belt buckle, shirt and I have a denim vest that’s kind of my signature item. I also have an amazing Stampede pin collection dating back to the ’60s.

Three things I recommend doing at the Stampede are: Going to the rodeo or the chuckwagon races is a must. Going to the Sunalta Community Association’s breakfast (Saturday, July 11) – it’s one of the best around. And go swimming in the river. Stampede can be really hot, so after the rodeo, go hang out at one of the riverside parks as a family. It’s something Calgarians have been doing since the beginning, a classic experience around here.

One thing you should avoid is: The party tents after Day 8 or so. They start to take on a peculiar smell.

Last words of advice: Stay hydrated, charge your phone and relax and enjoy yourself and take it all in.

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