It was batter up for flapjacks and sausages on Stephen Avenue on Thursday, signalling a return to a much more normal Stampede year.
Hundreds of Calgarians, and even a few intra-provincial visitors chowed down on pancakes for the early morning event on July 7.
And as a bellwether for the Stampede to come, the interest and demand bode well for the next 10 days in the core said Calgary Downtown Association CEO, Mark Garner.
“I think everybody is there—I’m hearing numbers like 1.5, 1.7 million people,” he said.
“I mean, we’ll find out tomorrow with the parade to see. The energy level seeing all the stands going out, and everybody getting ready, I think it’s gonna be a great parade and I think it’s gonna carry all the way through Stampede this year.”
Premier Jason Kenney laughed about the number of politicians at the First Flip.
“Sometimes my staff can try to get me to be like long talking point political speeches at these things, but that’s not why people come out to this, they just come out for a good time, to get together, to reconnect,” he said.
“I mean, the mayor and I were having a blast flipping pancakes. We have our share of disagreements, but we put all that aside to be Calgarians first during Stampede, and that’s what I encourage people to do.”