In 2015, I wrote a blog about how fewer and fewer of Calgary’s downtown merchants and landlords are embracing the Stampede spirit by decorating their windows, lobby and street fronts.
I concluded the blog with “Has Calgary become too big for it britches to celebrate what is truly one of North America’s oldest, largest and most unique festivals? Where is that community spirit?
This week I was downtown and I have to say the situation has gotten worse over the past four years. Few of the retail windows along Stephen Avenue or in the Core shopping Centre had any reference to Stampede.
Even major hotels seemed to lack any sense of Stampede spirit from the street. You could easily walk, cycle or drive by and not know Stampede was happening.
If it wasn’t for the restaurants along Stephen Avenue you wouldn’t even know it was Stampede time, and even some of them had minimal decorations.
Don't believe me! Here are a few photos to prove my point.
Kudos To Some
In a recent blog i stated “While not everyone appreciates what the Calgary Stampede does for the City locally, nationally and internationally, in my opinion, every city needs a mega festival like the Caglary Stampede that annually celebrates its unique history and sense of place.”
I know downtown has fallen are hard times but surely the merchants and landlords could afford to decorate for Stampede and put on a good show for all the tourist in town and for those Caglarians who only come downtown for Stampede.
Calgary’s needs to get its mojo back as an urban playground. And, it has to start with downtown businesses and property owners embracing the Stampede as Calgary’s “shout out” to the world that we are alive and kicking.
I am really beginning to wondering if the Calgary Stampede will still be around in 2112 to celebrate its bicentennial.