PHOTOS: Calgary Stampede pancake drive thru serves thousands

Daniel and Charmaine Chan enjoy their breakfast at the Calgary Stampede Community Pancake Drive-thru, presented by GMC at Cross Iron Mills on Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Photo by Candice Ward)

Calgary’s syrupy Stampede spirit was on display Saturday morning as thousands of people saddled up their vehicles to the first Stampede pancake breakfast drive-thru of the season.

Although the Stampede was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Pancake Drive-thru, presented by GMC, helped long time Stampede goers keep one of their beloved traditions alive.

“I was tearing up when I was driving through the line just watching everybody help and just participating,” said Kristen Friesen, who brought her four children to the drive-thru breakfast.

Friesen remembers attending Stampede breakfasts as a kid with her parents. She said it has been an important tradition for her to carry on with her own kids.

Although this year’s breakfast looks a lot different – minus the music, pony rides, and vendors on-site, Chris Haywood, chairman of the Caravan Committee said he’s happy how the event was able to adapt to bring the community together to celebrate the iconic event in a modified way. 

“We have been serving pancakes for close to a hundred years and it wasn’t something we wanted to stop this year. So when we were able to work with AHS and the Stampede and we were able to get the go-ahead, it was something we absolutely had to do,” said Haywood

Attendees of the drive-thru breakfast had to reserve their spot before attending. The event reached its capacity of about 5,000 breakfasts served.

The Calgary Stampede will be holding a few other drive-thru food events at Stampede Park during the period of when the 10-day event would have taken place. This includes BMO Kids’ Day Pancake Drive-thru on July 8, Mini Donut Drive-thru (multiple days), Stampede Food Truck Rally on July 4 and 5.

UPDATE: The Calgary Stampede has added two more community drive-thru pancake events. Here’s the details:

Community Pancake Drive-thru, presented by GMC

Date: Friday, July 10, 2020

Location: Seton YMCA

Hours: 9 a.m. – noon

Registration: https://pancakedrivethrusetonymca.eventbrite.ca

Date: Saturday, July 11, 2020

Location: Southcentre Mall

Hours: 9 a.m. – noon

Registration: https://pancakedrivethrusouthcentre.eventbrite.ca

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