Halifax — Halifax will be hosting its first stampede, attempting to emulate the popular Calgary stampede, which brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Alberta region annually. Of course, the lack of flatlands, cattle or competent horseback riders has required Halifax to put its own Maritime spin on the popular stampede activities.
“Rather than riding bulls or horses,” explained Burt Jameson, a competitor in this year’s tuna-wrangling competition, “we’ve been riding dolphins. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of dolphins in the area, many competitors have been riding dolphin-shaped pool floaties instead.”
The stampede, or “swimpede,” as the organizers have been calling it, boasts a number of unique activities, including a rodeo, where contestants compete to lasso the most sea bass in an hour. Since sea bass tend to swim to the bottom of the ocean, this activity will be hosted in a wading pool.
“It’s really exciting,” gushed Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil as he pushed up his plastic water wings, a signature accessory for spectators of the swimpede. “It’s time we showed Canada that Halifax must be taken seriously.”
In the hopes of encouraging free community breakfasts like the ones hosted around Calgary during their stampede, the swimpede will be hosting a crab-cake flipping competition. In this variant of the traditional flapjack flipping competition, the crab cake that falls apart the least wins the competition.
“The biggest set-back so far,” explained Anette Singh, the activity organizer, “is that crab meat is highly toxic if left in the sun, so we’ve had to transition away from traditional recipes that involve crab meat and other edible foods to novel ingredients like Raffia and Elmer’s glue.”
Not to be outdone by the Calgary Stampede’s swaths of drunken stunts performed by grown adults, the swimpede has been encouraging reckless behaviour from spectators. “There’s a bobbing for lobsters activity at the fairgrounds,” stated John Garner, a former club promoter and current chair of community outreach, “and we will also be distributing salmon cannons in swag bags, and of course we can’t forget the ‘Text Your Ex’ booth.”
The most anticipated event of the swimpede is, of course, the seahorse race, where these elegant aquatic creatures swim around an underwater track. For added authenticity, medics will be onsite ready to shoot any seahorse that breaks its leg.