The big news at this year’s Calgary Stampede is that the $100 hot dogs have sold out quickly.100 foot-long bratwursts were produced by Dougie Luv, owner of the DougieDog Diner Truck, based in Vancouver. The dogs were infused with Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac and topped with Kobe beef, lobster and truffles, is sold out for the remainder of the Stampede.“When we came here we thought, ‘OK, $100 hotdog, the economy’s kind of tough here, let’s bring 100.’ So that works out to 10 a day,” said Luv to the Calgary Herald “Within the first day, people called us and they reserved every Dragon Dog that we had.”Each Dragon Dog takes 45 minutes to prepare and costs $90 to create, meaning Luv makes just $10 on each sale.
Otherwise, it seems to be business as usual at the Stampede.
The event is, in fact, a rodeo, exhibition and festival in one held every July. It bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.The event’s roots are traced to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair. Organized by thousands of volunteers and supported by civic leaders, the Calgary Stampede has grown into one of the world’s richest rodeos, one of Canada’s largest festivals and a significant tourist attraction for the city. Rodeo and chuckwagon racing events are televised across Canada. However, both have been the target of increasing international criticism by animal welfare groups and politicians concerned about particular events as well as animal rights organizations seeking to ban rodeo in general.Calgary’s national and international identity is tied to the event. It is known as the “Stampede City”, carries the informal nickname of “Cowtown” and the local Canadian Football League team is called the stampedes. The city takes on a party atmosphere during Stampede: office buildings and storefronts are painted in cowboy themes, residents don western wear and events held across the city include hundreds of pancake breakfasts and barbecues.