High River's inaugural Stampede pancake breakfast was such a huge hit on Monday morning that they're making it an all-day event next year.

Chief organizer of the event Rick Green says they had about 1,000 people show up.

"I think we're pretty close to 1,000. We brought in enough food for a thousand people, and it looks like we'll be able to feed everyone."

That was at about 11:45 a.m. as the lineup was dwindling.  The event was scheduled from 9 a.m. till noon in front of and in the parking lot of Centered on Wellness on 1st Street SW.  Centred on Wellness and the Town of High River were the lead breakfast sponsors.

Dozens of local sponsors also hopped on board with some volunteering to go in the dunk tank that was set up.

Local firefighters, RCMP members, and politicians including Foothills MP John Barlow took time to get dunked for charity.

While the pancake breakfast, which included two large flapjacks, a couple of sausages, and coffee or juice, was free it was also a fundraiser for the local non-profit Wild Rose Community Connections.

Brenda Walsh with Centered on Wellness and a Town Councillor spent some time in the dunk tank and went up on stage for a special cheque presentation.

Organizer Rick Green presented a cheque for $10,000 of his own money to Wild Rose Community Connection. 

$10,000 cheque from Rick Green to Wild Rose Community Connections (Photo credit: Angie Brown)$10,000 cheque from Rick Green to Wild Rose Community Connections (Photo credit: Angie Brown)

Walsh was overwhelmed with the support from Green and from everyone who came out for High River's first Stampede pancake breakfast.

"Rick Green... his generosity is just unbelievable. I can't begin to describe how overwhelmed we are with the responses. The community at its best, honestly. So, with that being said, thank you High River for coming together. The support for Wild Rose but really just everyone coming together. That's what we wanted."

Besides the pancake breakfast and the dunk tank, there were also carriage wagon rides, a live band, and an old-fashioned Wild West shootout with some train robbers.

The 'bad guys' robbed the train car but were apprehended by the Steel Scouts Commemorative Troop. They were also on hand with their horses complete with colt .45s and Winchester rifles firing blanks.

Green says the event was such a hit just wait till next year.

"It's going to be bigger and better, and we even have a theme. Our theme is going to be 'From Chuckwagons to Truck Wagons'. So, in the morning we're going to have the same free chuckwagon breakfast, in the afternoon we're going to bring in a row of food trucks and we're going to travel through time. And the event is going to be all day, not just the morning. It's going to go from 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. That'll be on the second Saturday of Stampede next year. We've already booked George Lane [Park]."

So, yes it will be bigger and better and in George Lane Park where more shade will be if it gets really hot again like it did on Monday.

Green was ecstatic with the turnout and was very grateful for the support on Monday.

"Just want to thank all the sponsors and all the volunteers and all the people of High River that came out and made this event happen."

Next year's event should fall on Saturday, July 12, 2025.