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Have Your Cake-on-a-stick and Eat It Too

How to cancel out the calories this Stampede

Is there anything better than biting into the warm doughy goodness of a perfectly sugared mini donut, fresh from one of the three thousand deep fryers located on the Stampede grounds, for the first time since last year’s 10-day binge fest? Answer: no.

Next question.

Is there anything worse than waking up on day 11, suffering from a cowboy-sized food hangover (and probably a regular hangover too), filled with remorse and enough grease to leave a human shaped imprint on your bedsheets, knowing it will take you until next July to get your beach bod back? Answer: probably not.

Solution: have your [insert Stampede delicacy of choice] and it eat it too by following this simple guide to midway must-eats and the counter-calorie activities that will help you stay happier than a dead scorpion on a pizza.

Mini Donuts – 53 calories per donut. 12 donuts per bag. 636 calories total.

These puppies are to Stampede what rice is to China. Let’s just all assume that these calories are a given for anyone going anywhere near the grounds. In fact, I’m fairly certain you’re not allowed to exit through the gates until you’ve consumed an entire bag on your own. To remedy your first intake of Stampede goodies, get moving and do jumping jacks for precisely one hour and 3.6 minutes (that’s right, it takes 10 minutes of high intensity jumping jacks to burn just 100 calories).


Butter Chicken Fries – 92 calories. Oh wait a minute, forgot the ‘0’. Make that 920 calories.

Now that you’ve worked up a healthy sweat, you’ve earned a bite or two of this savoury sensation. India and Quebec have come together to create the perfect lovechild, so dive right in to this stack of crispy, golden fries topped with traditional butter chicken. Don’t waste a second feeling guilty about indulging in this cultural blend, three and a half hours of biking ought to clear that right up.


PB Dumbbells – Hailing from some place called The Peanut Butter Cupboard (who doesn’t want to hit that up?!), these babies weigh in at 600 calories.

Let’s be real, everyone who buys these is going to put on some kind of mini bicep curling performance to try and get a laugh. Ok, we get it, you’re a giant human curling a toothpick. Congratulations. Now eat your peanut butter stuffed, deep fried, bacon covered, chocolate drizzled balls already! To prevent these noms from fulfilling the old adage of ‘a moment on the lips, forever on the hips’, try lifting some real weights, for a real long time. Say, an hour and a half?


Deep Fried Tequila Shots – 400 calories (memory loss and the taste of regret in the morning sold separately).

Have your cake and drink it too! If you and Jose are friends, you’ll have no problem enjoying these refreshing bites. If Jose has betrayed you and run off with your girlfriend, this may not be the deep fried dough for you. Either way, you’ll only have to jump rope for 36 minutes to say adiós to these bad boys. Unless you’ve had too many and jump rope has suddenly become very difficult, then it might take you a little longer. Just kidding, they’re non-alcoholic, so your kids can be friends with Jose too!


The Godfather Mac and Cheese – Hovering somewhere around 1,100 calories, but who cares because CHEESE!

Cow’s best gift to mankind was undoubtedly cheese, but add in some noodles, classic Italian spaghetti sauce and a couple of meatballs (also courtesy of our friends the cows), and you’ve got yourself a real winner. We’re not sure how this wouldn’t be right up everyone’s alley, so enjoy this hearty dish, sure to soak up any Budweiser you might have consumed (just tack on another 145 calories for the beer). Working this pasta extravaganza off will cost you 66 minutes of running stairs, and a complete loss of lung capacity.


Deep Fried Oreo Milkshake – Bringing all the boys to the yard with an alluring 800 calories.

Does it still count if we ask for non-fat milk? An ethereal take on the classic shake, this new Stampede beverage has something for everyone (unless you’re lactose intolerant), from its frothy ice cream base and delightful Oreo crunch, to the top of its whipped cream peak. You can even substitute deep fried Oreos in if you want to do a few more burpees afterwards. Speaking of burpees, you’re going to have to do them for 40 minutes to counteract the effects of this vanilla dream.


Wow. That’s a lot of burpees. And other things.

Ok so on second thought, maybe just eat your way through the midway, embrace Stampede with a guilt free, devil-may-care attitude, and be prepared to eat a lot of ice cubes for lunch the next week.

If you need a few other treats to try while you’re turning a blind eye to the potential health risks of clogging your arteries with goop from the deep fryer, check out these additional delectables that will be making an appearance at the 2016 Stampede:

  • Salted Caramel Deep Fried Coffee
  • Mac and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
  • Deep Fried Ice Cream
  • Meatball Sub on a Stick
  • Big Pickle Dog
  • Pink Strawberry Candy Apples
  • Poutine Corndog
  • Oreo Rice
  • Korn on a Stick
  • Fruit Infused Grilled Cheese
  • Sticky Toffee Bug Balls
  • Deep Fried Butter Tart
  • Nutella Glazed Mini Donuts
  • Cantaloupe Lemonade
  • The Golden Grasshopper Pie Pop
  • Saturday Morning Beaver Balls
  • Venison Hot Dog
  • Bacon and Sausage Scotch Egg
  • Frosted Flakes Chicken on a Stick
  • Teriyaki Chicken Perogies
  • Steak and Guinness Cornish Pastries
  • Oreo Churros
  • Pretzel Dog
  • Oreo Funnel Cake
  • Bacon Beer Battered Corndog
  • Salted Caramel Deep Fried Coffee
  • Biggest Baddest Brat

*Photos courtesy of The Calgary Stampede.

Erica Morgan
Erica Morgan
Passionate writer, social media whisperer and baking aficionado; this full time PR girl is a homegrown Calgarian in love with everything country. Living proof that it is possible to never, ever get sick of Stampede. Stylish heels by day, cowboy boots by night.