The following blog post was written by Carmela Dimaculangan at the School of Global Access.
Each year, the Calgary Stampede welcomes over a million visitors from around the world to ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’.
I’ve never experienced such a carnival before. I could see a mini Calgary under one roof.
Bow Valley College sent Namit Sethi and Radhika Dhawan, Health and Human Services Management students and ICan Crew volunteers, for a whirlwind day at the Stampede with a camera in tow.
I met with Namit and Radhika to ask them what their experience was like as an International Student visiting the Stampede for the first time.
What did you like most about the Stampede?
Namit: First of all, all the world’s best food under one roof. Takoyaki, a drink called Unicorn Bucket, and lastly, the ambience. There were a lot of people. It was curious to see all of them in one room.
Radhika: What stood out for me was everybody dressing up as cowboys. Also, I’m not used to crowds here in Canada, where I come from [Delhi], it’s a very crowded place. It was nice to get a feel of home.
What surprised you about the Stampede?
Namit: There was a dish made of onions in which the onions were deep fried, it had cheese and chives with bacon. It just blew my mind.
Radhika: I wasn’t expecting so many animals to be there. I’ve never seen those animals so close to me, it’s like the feeling of being in a ranch.
By the end of your day, did you feel like you had experienced a piece of Calgary culture? If yes, how so?
Namit: Yes. It was my first time trying the Stampede Breakfast and I loved it. From breakfast until 2:00 a.m., it was a topsy turvey ride full of joy and excitement. I wish I had been in Calgary last year just to see the Stampede.
Radhika: Yes, absolutely. When we entered [the grounds], it was like I was watching a Hollywood movie. I’ve never experienced such a carnival before. I could see a mini Calgary under one roof.
If you were to explain what the Stampede is like to another international student, what would you say?
Namit: Stampede is a once in a lifetime experience. At least attend one of the days and you will be back for more. We are moving to Ontario in August, but I’m planning to come back to the Calgary Stampede next year. I wish I could go every day for the full 10 days.
Radhika: It’s a very vibrant event in a quiet city. Everybody should make it a point to go at least once. We created memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
What was the best food?
Namit: It’s hard because we tried almost everything. I would say the mini donuts. I’m not a big fan of donuts, but these ones were made right in front of you, with cinnamon sugar. After Stampede, I’ll be hunting for mini donuts because it was that tasty.
Radhika: I insisted that my friend get me some donuts when she went [to the Stampede]. I tried the regular donuts but there’s too much sugar. These were fresh and you could taste the difference.
What was the best ride?
Namit and Radhika: The 360! We rode it three times. The wait was long, but it was worth it.
Watch Namit and Radhika’s Stampede video here.