Stampede live blog: Caravan of western hospitality

The Calgary Stampede Caravan Breakfast is run like a well-oiled machine that’s been engineered by a group of dedicated volunteers.

Dedicated volunteers serve up 150 litres of syrup a day and the flapjacks to go with it

The Calgary Stampede Breakfast Caravan goes through 20 bags of batter, 150 litres of syrup, 90 cases of sausages and 10 kilograms of butter during the week. (Dave Roberts/CBC)

The Calgary Stampede Caravan Breakfast is run like a well-oiled machine that's been engineered by a group of dedicated volunteers. 

The caravan has been a staple of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth since 1976 and is entirely made up of volunteers who have become devoted to the spirit of Stampede. 

Many team members and their families have spent years donating their time to the Caravan Breakfast. Some plan their personal vacations around Stampede, while others will travel to the city so they too can play their part on the committee. 

Pancake anticipation at Cross Iron Mills. (Dave Roberts/CBC)

In one case, a British couple was so enamoured with Stampede they moved to Calgary so they could volunteer their time with the Caravan Breakfast.

The group is up at the crack of dawn and a literal caravan of trailers, batter trucks and entertainment stages sets out to bring Stampede hospitality to those folks who might not get to get to the grounds.

The caravan creates a "mini" Stampede at local malls by serving a western pancake breakfast complete with live music, marching bands, kids' activities, ponies and much more.

Stampede hospitality at the North Hill Centre. (Dave Roberts/CBC)

The Caravan was greeted with a long line up when they arrived at Cross Iron Mills just north of the city. The massive set up was completed in an efficient 90 minutes. Volunteers flipped flapjacks to an estimated 7,000 stampeders going through 20 bags of batter, 150 litres of syrup, 90 cases of sausages and 10 kilograms of butter.

At North Hill mall in northwest Calgary on the same day, another group of Caravan volunteers were working the grills and showing their western hospitality and community spirit.

When the breakfast ends there's still plenty of work to be done. The trucks are packed up in a speedy 45 minutes and then reloaded with supplies so they're ready to go for the next event on the committee's menu.

When the last pancake is eaten, over 100,000 people will have enjoyed the hospitality of the Calgary Stampede Breakfast Caravan.

Check out other Stampede events throughout the city


With files from Dave Roberts

With files from Dave Roberts

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