Even though the Calgary Stampede is officially cancelled due to COVID-19, officials found a way to serve up a pancake breakfast and food on the midway in a safe way.

The parking lot outside Cross Iron Mills shopping centre just outside city limits became a drive through pancake breakfast.

“(Calgary) is the only world i think where people would line up for an hour for two pancakes and a sausage and they do here with a smile on their face so its really fun,” said volunteer Jessica Rooney. She has about 15 years tenure with the Calgary Stampede.

Hungry families drove up with their vehicles by the hundreds — and said the hot meals warmed their hearts.

“We’ve been in Calgary for a long time and we just love the stampede spirit we look forward to it every July and its such a wonderful time to bond with community. We love it,” said Taiwo Ogunsina.

“I just think it shows the spirit of Calgary and that we are not letting this pandemic slow us down too much,” said Lisa Garey.

Lunch was also served, with a drive-thru down at the Stampede Grounds in collaboration with YYC Food Trucks.

Various food trucks were spaces apart and volunteers arranged the queues.

“We are going to work as quickly and as safely as we can. Obviously these are exceptional times and so we’ve have to take exceptional measures to create this,” said Jennifer Andrews, the company’s co-owner.

Stampede officials say they wanted Calgarians to have a little experience of the Stampede even at a smaller scale.

“We like to say how we celebrate has changed but we celebrate hasn’t,” said Kyle Corner, the manager of entertainment programming.

He estimated a few thousand people would drive through over the course of the nine hours.

The event returns to the grounds on Sunday.