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a colorful photo of the calgary stampede with many people walking around the grounds with fair rides in the background
University of Calgary

Records Broken at Calgary Stampede

Stampede set the Guinness World Record for most pancakes served while temperatures spiked.

The Calgary Stampede kicked off this weekend, setting an all-time Day 1 attendance record on Friday. Attendance broke a Stampede record one day one with 164,939 people walking through the turnstiles.

By day two of the Stampede, the event had roped in just under 340,000 people. This makes 2023 the second year in a row the Stampede has surpassed 300,000 visitors in the first two days. By the end of the weekend, 516,999 had gone to the Stampede.

But that wasn’t the only record to fall over the weekend. On Sunday, the Stampede also broke the Guinness World Record for most pancakes served in eight hours. The goal to beat was 14,208 pancakes.

Calgary Stampede volunteers posing with their hard earned Guinness World Record for pancakes served
Calgary Stampede volunteers posing with their hard earned Guinness World Record for pancakes served | Calgary Stampede | Twitter

Starting at 8 AM, the Stampede got to work serving hundreds of people. By noon, the Stampede had already served 17,182 pancakes, knocking the record out of the park.

“We’re already the greatest outdoor show on earth, and every year we’re looking for ways to be bigger and better,” Shannon Greer, communications manager for Calgary Stampede, told Global News.

Even more impressive, event-goers weren’t put off by crazy weather. Stampeders endured sweltering hot temperatures of 30°C and higher throughout the weekend, which led Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to issue a heat warning.

But around dinner time on Sunday, ECCC changed its weather alert to a severe thunderstorm watch. The alert warned of potential nickel-sized hail and heavy rain in parts of the city. 

As of today, several regions in the province remain under heat warnings, including Claresholm, High River, Brooks, Drumheller, Medicine Hat, and Calgary. 

Even so, Calgary Stampede CEO Joel Cowley is confident the Stampede will exceed last year’s 1.2 million visitors.

“I have to give credit to our volunteers and our staff for creating a better layout this year. It actually felt better on the park yesterday than day one last year,” Cowley told the Calgary Herald

Is Climate Change To Blame?

To explain warmer temperatures in both Alberta and worldwide, experts point to climate change. 

Nathan Gillett, a research scientist with ECCC,  told Global News, “…over time, we expect more heat waves, more extreme fire seasons like the one we’re seeing now in Alberta. These events are going to become more and more frequent into the future as the climate continues to warm.”

In 2021, Canada committed to achieving net zero in carbon pollution by 2050. This means that the country will aim to produce no more greenhouse gases than it takes out of the atmosphere through practices like planting trees, which absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

Jennifer Allan, a Canadian lecturer at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, claims that if nations don’t meet the net zero by 2050, we will lose our chance to stay below two or 1.5°C by the end of the century. 

If we miss this window of opportunity, it won’t be pretty. Spiking temperatures will bring more extreme weather events, including heatwaves, floods, and storms. These changes will directly affect human health and well-being, with increased risks of heat-related illnesses, compromised air quality, and disrupted access to food and water.

While Albertans are tough, extreme heat can’t be overcome with grit alone. According to Environment Canada, signs of heat stroke and exhaustion include high body temperature, lack of sweat, fainting, unconsciousness, and confusion. 

As high temperatures continue across the province, consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day. If you plan on attending the Stampede, take frequent breaks in cool spaces where possible. 

After all, you can’t enjoy the Stampede in a hospital bed, so take care of yourself. 

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