The Calgary Stampede officially kicks off with the Calgary Stampede Parade, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors to the downtown core.
This year’s parade marshal is Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, who will be the first Canadian to travel to the moon in 2024.
“We are thrilled to have the first Canadian traveling to the moon, leading a parade, which will also celebrate the first 100 years of a sport, which is a time-honoured tradition of the Stampede,” said Dwayne Spence, Chair of the Calgary Stampede Parade Committee.
The Stampede Parade begins at 8:55 a.m. on 9 Avenue SE and 3 Street SE. Visitors are suggested to travel to the parade earlier, and to take Calgary Transit where possible due to road closures and limited parking.
For people who do make it early, the Stampede Parade will be holding prelude entertainment throughout the entire route from 30 different groups, starting an 7:30 a.m.
This year’s parade will feature more than 100 entries, 28 horse entries featuring more than 800 horses, 24 floats, 12 bands, and nine mounted colour parties.
Free entry onto Stampede Park until 1:30 p.m.
Calgarians looking to take in the Calgary Stampede directly after the parade will be treated to free entry to Stampede Park from 11:00 a.m when the Stampede opens, until 1:30 p.m.
Some of the top things to see on the grounds on Day 1 of the Stampede include the Rodeo, Stampede Evening Show which includes chuckwagon racing and Grandstand Show, and the Coca-Cola stage, Big Four Building, and Nashville North acts Quinton Blair, Shantaia, Bob Moses, Vance Joy, and DJ Diesel (aka Shaquille O’Neal).