Frugal people should start by planning a 10-day schedule of pancake breakfasts! Treat yourself with a free plate of flapjacks and other cholesterol-crammed goodies everyday of the Stampede! The experts tip: between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. check out the taller office towers, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. check out the downtown hotels or head to Fluor Rope Square (Olympic Plaza).
SNEAKY TIP: If you are in a hurry and there's a long line, go to the front and volunteer to serve for a few mintes; grab your own pancakes when you meet someone intersting, and "take a break."
The Stampede Parade is also a top pick of everyone. It's free, entertaining and (if you park yourself in a good spot on 9th Avenue in front of the TV cameras) you can send a message to friends in other parts of Canada or the world! Most downtown employers give staff the morning off for the parade.
After the Stampede Parade, Friday around 10 a.m., you can see a mini parade complete with marching bands and native Indians in full ceremonial dress on the Stephen Avenue Mall heading to Fluor Rope Square.
Window shopping and people watching is an excellent way to entertain yourself during Stampede. Stores show their Stampede spirit and pride by putting together incredible window displays, and many downtown buldings have impressive Stampede themed paintings on their windows.
For people watching, the best spot is the Stephen Avenue Mall, or at one of the patio restaurants around Eau Claire Market. Espcially at lunch, when the office towers empty out and everybody is dressed up and looking a good time!
After a day of flapjacks and siteseeing, be the first to get a good seat on Scotchman's Hill for a dazzling display of fireworks. There are other great locations to check out these nightly fireworks but from this point you can also see the Stampede grounds... saving you the ("just") $14 admission charge!
Of course, you don't have to "do" the Stampede for free. There are lots of other things to see and do.