The Calgary Stampede took a moonshot with the announcement of their 2023 parade marshal, Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen.
Hansen will be the first Canadian in history to travel to the moon as part of the Artemis II mission. That 10-day mission is tentatively scheduled for November 2024.
“I am thrilled to be selected as the 2023 Calgary Stampede Parade Marshal and to come back to a province that holds a special place in my heart. I look forward to seeing you along the Parade route in July!” Hansen said in a prepared media release.
The Ontario-born Hansen grew up wanting to be an astronaut. That led him to Alberta where he became a jet fighter pilot while stationed at CFB Cold Lake. After that, Hansen joined the Canadian Space Agency.
“Jeremy Hansen is a trailblazer who exemplifies the values of the Calgary Stampede,” said Will Osler, President & Chair of the Calgary Stampede Board of Directors.
“His integrity and commitment to community are an inspiration, and all Calgarians, Albertans and Canadians are proud of him and everything he has accomplished. We are honoured to have Jeremy lead our Parade as an example of what you can achieve when you work hard and dream big.”
Hansen will be joined by honourary parade marshal General Wayne Eyre. Eyre is Chief of the Defence Staff, overseeing the military at home and abroad.
This will also be a year when the Calgary Stampede celebrates 100 years of chuckwagon racing.
The parade goes ahead at 9 a.m. on July 7 and then guests can go from the parade to the park to get free admission from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Here’s more information on the Artemis II mission to the moon.