The warming temperature is a reminder that the Calgary Stampede is now just months away (so you better start preparing both your liver and your outfits now).

But’s not just about the Stampede – there’s a lot going on beforehand, too.

Here are 12 things to check out in Calgary this spring…

1. The Big Taste: March 4 – 13, 2016.
The Big Taste offers 10 days of foodie heaven at some of the city’s best venues and is a perfect excuse to go all out on a cheat day. Calgary’s most recognized chefs will offer three and five-course prix fixe menus for both lunch and dinner throughout the 10 days. The Big Taste will also offer 12 unique ticketed events.

2. Starbelly’s Non-Traditional St. Paddy’s Day Celebration: Thursday, March 17.
If green beer and overly sloppy patrons isn’t your ideal way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Starbelly’s Non-Traditional St. Paddy’s Day Celebration probably is. Here, you can raise a glass to the Irish, with fine wine to accompany a gourmet four-course meal. An assortment of wine will be paired with seasonal foods from local vendors, prepared by Chef Jonathan. Phillip Goodwin, Trentham Estate Winery’s Export Director, will be also on hand to offer tasting notes and his wine expertise.

3. Wine Stage: Saturday, March 19.  
If you have a thing for quality wine and generating dollars for an important cause, you should probably purchase a ticket for Wine Stage, One Yellow Rabbit’s annual fundraiser. You can expect no shortage of food from some of your favourite restaurants in the city, with some great wine (Bin 905, Metrovino, Kensington Wine Market, and Vine Arts, to name a few) to wash it down with.

4. Obviously Improv: The 2016 Improv Games: Saturday, March 19.
For a LOL-filled evening, check out Obviously Improv: The 2016 Improv Games – the improv version of The Hunger Games. The one-night fundraiser features some of Calgary’s funniest performers, who  take the stage in what promises to be a no-holds-barred, outrageous battle to the funny.

5. Calgary Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show: March 19 and 20.
Mark the first day of spring by getting geared up for the limitless summer activities offered in the mountains. G Adventures’ Calgary Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show features hundreds of vendors who offer pre-season deals on outdoor adventure gear, travel experiences, day trips, and canoeing and kayaking equipment. You can also expect things like photography workshops and demonstrations in the white water demo pool.

6. 4th Annual MakeFashion Wearable Tech Gala and Runway Show: Saturday, April 2.
The fourth annual Make Fashion Wearable Tech Gala and Runway Show returns to showcase the ever-growing industry of wearable technology fashion. It will feature items from Canadian professional designers and engineers, emerging designers, and international designers, whose work will represent a modern fusion of fashion and functionality.

7. Growing the Legacy Gala: Thursday, April 7.
Back for its 14th year, Olds College’s annual Growing the Legacy Gala returns to celebrate partnerships, community cooperation, and the success of Olds College. The event offers more than an open bar with a side of social and professional networking – you’ll also learn a thing or two. This year’s keynote speaker is Arlene Dickson, the well-known lady boss entrepreneur formerly of Dragons’ Den (not that we need to tell you that).

8. Motionball Calgary Gala: April 22.
We probably don’t have to remind you that the motionball Calgary Gala is just weeks away. The young professional-filled gala will feature some of the city’s finest movers and shakers, who will enjoy open bars, live entertainment, an amazing silent auction, dance-offs and more, and will party the night away in support of Special Olympics Canada. The best part of the evening, as usual, is the chance to celebrate with the inspiring Special Olympics athletes that motionball proudly supports.

9. Acadia Vintage Retro and Antiques Show: April 23 and 24.
What better way to spend a Saturday or Sunday than stumbling across hidden gems (and an overload of Instagram material) you never knew you needed? The annual Acadia Vintage Retro and Antiques Show returns, offering an eclectic assortment of treasures that include everything from furniture and art to costume jewellery and handicrafts. You can also bring along your own retro offerings to have it appraised on the spot.

10. Calgary International Beerfest: May 6 and 7
Why stick to one beer when you can sample 500? The Calgary International Beerfest offers beers from local, national, and international breweries paired with food from more than 40 of Calgary’s restaurants and pubs. There will also be various seminars throughout the weekend.

11. Splash of Red Gala: Saturday, May 14.
On May 14it’s time to paint the town red for a cause that remains as important as ever. HIV Community Link’s annual Splash of Red Gala unites trendsetters, influencers and leaders to raise funds and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS. If you’re in the market for some new art, the event features an art auction, which includes work from both well-known and emerging artists.

12. Body Worlds Vital: Now until May 31.
Sure, it’s a little nerdy. But Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds Vital exhibition is something everyone should see at least once in life. As usual, the exhibition is comprised of human bodies that have been donated to science and preserved in a fashion to graphically display the body’s internal structures. So if you’re in need of a lesson in human anatomy, this is probably the most fun way to get it.

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