Despite transforming long ago into an oil town and bustling business centre of Western Canada, the city of Calgary has clung actively to its cowboy roots. It’s a strange juxtaposition when a city modern enough to elect its mayor on a wave of social media strength is also host to big-money chuckwagon races and bullriding. But that’s why it’s worth the trip. Now in its 88th year, the Calgary Stampede is the perfect excuse to hit up a pancake breakfast, then experience the best of the city’s present and its Wild West past. Just remember to trade in the suit and tie for a pair of boots and a cowboy hat—it’ll make that “Yeehaw!” much more believable.
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| Photos: Canadian Press; Alamy/Getstock; Veer; iStock; Corbis; Chef Paul Rogalski