Stampede is the biggest event in my hometown. The smell of deep fried foods waft through the air, suddenly cowboy boots and shoes appear in store windows, downtown is covered in comical drawings of the Midwest. The atmosphere of Calgary does a 180 turn from people afraid to talk to one another to excitement. Stampede means summer is actually here. The weather turns undeniably hot and with the combination of buzzing food trucks; the temperature rises. The world looks different. For one thing, I love the excuse to wear my cowboy boots that are stashed away in the back of my closet. Secondly, going to the concerts are worth saving every penny. Thirdly, the food! Weird food ideas such as deep friend pickles or mustard and ketchup ice cream can be only found at the Stampede. The early and free stampede breakfasts at random grocery stores or parking lots fill up with people waiting to get their pancakes and maple syrup with a side of sausage. The carnival rides and games are all excitement and fun. This sounds like a good time doesn’t it?
Then once you get there, you see the crowds of people waiting to get into the gates. Sadly, your feet get stepped on by a few strangers, you say “sorry” way too much, but you wait anyways telling yourself that it’ll be better once you are inside. Once inside you are greeted by the smell of ketchup cream or deep fried pickles, the temperature outside seemed to have rised beyond belief. You discover the foods you wanted to try such as a Tiramisu pineapple or a deep fried dad’s cookie. You finally find the booth and you ask about it. The server who looks too young to have a job tells you the item you’re looking for is across the park. Disappointed you move through the crowds to get that special treat you’ve been losing weight for. You get there and now you wait in line. Luckily, this line moves quickly and they get to you, you order it and its pretty good but because of the sun it starts melting it starts to creep down the sides of the pineapple making your fingers sticky. You have no choice, but to finish it. You do and all you can think about it washing your hands from the sticky treat. The line is too long.
“I am just washing my hands” you announce loudly as you brave your way through the crowd of women wanting to pee.
You spend the rest of the afternoon wading through the waves of crowds. Then, the thirst strikes you and all you can think about is the lemonade. You arrive at one station, you stand in line for ten minutes without the line moving. You give up and you see another stand, but it has a long line. You keep moving through until you come across another stand and this line is more ridiculous than the last.
Then as you move towards the BMO a man has the audacity to grind up against you, so you have no choice but to elbow or knee him in his crotch “Sorry didn’t see you there” you lie and you run after your partner or group of friends. You finally get to the BMO and the reshreshing AC hits you, you never want to leave. You change out of your cowboy boots into your comfy shoes, which is what you should have worn instead.
You get to the art gallery and it’s finally the only breath of fresh air that you’ve had in a while. The colours and the creativity that these artists have is astounding. Metal works, resin art, oil paintings, acrylic and wood.
You walk around until you see a couple holding an incredible drink you ask them for the directions you get there and get your order. The taste was great! Slushie sangria! Finally something that can numb the pain in my feet from walking all day!
Later, you are about to leave when you notice someone on stage, you stay and listen and then you start to have fun.
“This guy is good!” You exclaim as you groove to the music.
Eventually, he leaves the stage and that’s when you decide to become a sardine on the train ride home, but most people leave once you hit downtown and that’s the day. Your feet hurt, you’re dehydrated and exhausted.
Yet, we do it every year.
About the Creator
Hello fellow interweb explorers! I am Ada Zuba. I binge the Netflix shows and just recently Disney plus has been my happy place. I am a creative person with a big love for Disney movies. I hope to one day write and publish a fantasy novel.