- beef shake
- deep-fried cheesecake
- taco in a bag
- pretzel dog
Stampede is apparently not just about mini doughnuts and giant beehives of cotton candy anymore.
Oh the things you can eat, if you have a mind to. Thank god I am not attending.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things that are great about the Calgary Stampede (I'm just not one for soul-crushing crowds shuffling their way across midway grounds consisting of pavement and huge metal death machines, all glistening in the unrelenting sun and 45C heat). But one aspect of the Calgary Stampede that I have always admired greatly has been the sense of comradery and openness and the all-encompassing welcome of events such as the Stampede breakfasts. Any day during the ten days of Stampede you can partake of at least two dozen completely free pancake breakfasts every single day, many of them featuring entertainment or pony rides for the kids, and always damned good food.
Before the company that Jerry works for moved into the downtown core, they used to host a splendid Stampede breakfast every year, which they held in their parking lot. They would hire a professional chuckwagon breakfast company (I kid you not) and set up hay bales in the parking lot and feed anybody who wanted to drop by. They always made sure to invite all the other tenants of their office building, because that was the courteous thing to do, and that's how you behave during Stampede.
And then they moved to the downtown core to share a floor in a highrise office tower with another division of their company. This was ostensibly to foster closer relations between the divisions, but I suspect it's not really working out. Here's an email that the people in Jerry's division received from the other division today:
Good Morning Everyone,
There are leftovers from Company X's Stampede Breakfast in the kitchen here by reception. Please come and help yourselves to the pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, fruit and juice, but please do so quietly as there is a meeting going on in the boardroom.Boy howdy, isn't that just so welcoming? You are not good enough to come eat with us, but you can help yourself to the leavings. As long as you don't disturb us.
And yet they could have walked across the street and been welcomed at any of a handful of breakfasts that some of the oil companies were hosting.