As a child I loved it. How could I not? Parades, costumes, the midway and the food. Oh the glorious deep fried goodness. As a teenager I was indifferent... but of course, I was/am not like most other people. I don't like to party... and as a teenager, the Stampede becomes one big party. Now slightly older I detest the Stampede. The city is flooded with tourists who drink too much and should not be wearing what they are. I mean really, it's never the svelte beauty who wears the strapless jean tops with the shortest skirt you'll ever find and tacky fake leather boots. No, no. That would be much too easy to look at. You see, the city becomes one big downtown street corner after midnight... except it's during the day. Everywhere you go. If they were real cowboys or cowgirls that would be a different story, but their boots are pristine and shiny and their hats don't have the telltale sweat ring on it.
My irritation with the Stampede comes from both the news and my ill timed arrival home yesterday. So after going through a very long customs line, I was greeted in Calgary by a dorky cowboy with a lasso and horrible country music that crackled with their bad sound system. Really, after 7 hours of flying, a horrible headache and red puffy eyes from crying, that was not how I wanted to be greeted. And my poor mother had to stand there waiting for me... she honestly deserves an award for that one. I at least like some country music. She detests it all. But I guess it's partly my fault for flying during Stampede Week. Oh well. I'll just hide in my house until I leave for RWA in a few days.
Does your city or area have a local tradition that just makes you clench your teeth and wince?