I would like to respond to the letter to the editor published July 11 written by Zachary Wilde from White Rock, B.C. Mr. Wilde’s letter was not only disrespectful but also disheartening.
Yes, it is true that during the annual Ponoka Stampede visitors do contribute to the local economy. But the reality is that the local community is the backbone of our economy, not the people who come for one week. We are also the taxpayers who pay to clean up all the defecation left by all these visitors to whom according to Mr. Wilde we should be so eternally grateful.
Should I be grateful that during the Stampede I can guarantee many of my neighbors will have their vehicles broken into, or should I be grateful for all the intoxicated people wandering our streets? Or maybe I should be grateful that many (not all) of these visitors treat our town like it is a dumping ground for their garbage. I personally am not feeling grateful.
I’m also not grateful for the reputation the Ponoka Stampede has. Mr. Wilde’s perception is probably the consensus; our town is great and the Stampede is a huge party. I am happy that people recognize our town is great but I’m disheartened they only recognize that greatness for one week out of the year.
I can’t help but wonder if the branding committee has taken any time to address that — hey, just keeping it real.