Type to search

Features Top Stories

Bam Bam wins Drake University’s 43rd annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest

Photo by Meghan Holloran

The Beautiful Bulldog Contest crowns a new bulldog each year as the ‘most beautiful bulldog’ and “the winner then serves a year-long reign as the Drake Relays mascot and the Most Beautiful Bulldog,” according to the Beautiful Bulldog website. 

This year’s winner, 5-year-old Bam Bam captured the hearts of audiences with his unique outfit. Bam Bam was dressed as Russell and his owner, Maggie Etsby, dressed as Carl from the hit 2009 movie “Up.”

“He loves people, he loves chewing bones, he loves going for short walks, he loves to sunbathe, he loves to cuddle,” said Maggie Etsby, Bam Bam’s owner and Minnesota native, said in a press release. 

Ansleigh Ragan, a first-year at Drake University, attended the event and raved about Bam Bam. 

“I really loved Bam Bam and Scooby,” Ragan said via direct message. “I thought Scooby’s story was heartwarming, and he has an awesome name. Bam Bam also has an amazing name!”

The Beautiful Bulldog Contest is not only about cute pups and raising adoption awareness. Griff II, the live mascot of Drake University, finished the last day of his Griff Gives Back Campaign, an annual pet food drive benefiting The Pet Project Midwest. 

Griff’s campaign has collected a lifetime total of 71,000 pounds of dog food. Grifftern Nate Eisenmann, Griff’s part-time handler and social media manager, commented on Griff’s philanthropy.

“Dog and cat food donations were accepted with the goal of 15,000 pounds of food,” Eisenmann said. “Though we didn’t reach 15,000 pounds, we got very close and still made a sizable donation which benefits pets in the Midwest.”

As winner of the Beautiful Bulldog Contest, Bam Bam had to fulfill his duties as Relays mascot by attending Relays events. He will also be required to attend the 2023 Beautiful Bulldog Contest to pass the cape and crown off to the next winner.

Eliana Mascarenas, a first-year at Drake, liked seeing all the adoption awareness featured at the event. 

“I loved the event,” Mascarenas said. “It was a last-minute decision of my friend and I to go to it, and I’m so happy. It was so nice to see and pet all of the dogs that weren’t part of the event but there to advocate for adoption centers.”

Before the event, audience members could browse various pet adoption organizations stationed around the Knapp Center track. Dogs were available for adoption from these agencies, many of which specialized in the care and adoption of bulldogs. 

First-year Sarah Griever went to the contest to experience the contest for herself and because she loves dogs. 

“I think my favorite bulldog was the pancake dog because the whole family really committed to the bit, but Bam Bam took my heart with his cute little face,” Griever said. 

Catch Bam Bam’s adventures on his Instagram page @bambam_themeatball. 


You Might also Like

Skip to content