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International Avenue celebrates Stampede with food from around the world
Over 5000 people line up for dishes from cultures across the globe.
With dishes like vegetable pakora, Filipino sweet bread, and churros, it was far from your average Stampede pancake breakfast.
On Thursday, over 5,000 Calgarians flocked to the 21st annual ‘Best of the East’ Stampede breakfast along 17 Avenue S.E between 31 and 32 streets.
The event is held each year as a way to showcase the diversity of greater Forest Lawn and its dazzling array of multicultural businesses in the area.
“This area is Calgary’s culinary and cultural capital. As a result we really try and provide a great sample of food you can find up and down this avenue,” said Alison Karim-McSwiney, executive director of International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ).
Five unique breakfast dishes were served including cuisine from Indonesia, Ethopia, East India, the Philippines and Mexico.
It was also an opportunity for local performance groups to show off some moves. Ethiopian dancers shared a colourful number, while the Korean Arts Society held marital arts demonstrations.
Organizers have been working with the local community to help promote restaurants in the area and say it’s a chance for budding business owners to share products and ideas.
“We do a lot of work through our merge program that helps up-and-coming entrepreneurs, so we are opening up the vendors for that. They’re people who live in the area who have business ideas and are wanting to grow them, so we expose them to a very large market on this day,” said Karim-McSwiney.
BRZ directors hope the event will encourage Calgarians to visit the area year-round for a culinary adventure.
“You can really walk into pretty much any shop around here and feel like you're transported to different parts of the world,” said Karim-McSwiney,
“People are very welcoming and friendly, and that’s what we like to show in all the events that we do.”