Calgary Stampede Parade participants from the Calgary Tower © J. Ashley Nixon
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth got going this morning with the annual Calgary Stampede Parade. It’s the starting point for ten days of rodeo, live Country & Western and other music, show ground rides, pancake breakfasts and more. It also marks the unofficial start of summer in this part of Canada. There must have been at least a hundred thousand people lining up along the 5 km route around 6th and 9th Avenues in the downtown city core. Many visitors were present, tourists from the USA, UK, Europe and elsewhere, perhaps helped this year by the “loonies exchange” that we are experiencing. And while the depressed oil price has hooked in hard on the local economy, with some corporate cut backs on their normal spend on Stampede events, masses of cheerful Calgarians put that aside and turned out in cowboy and cowgirl hats, boots, jeans and shirts.
Calgary Stampede Parade
The Stampede Parade this year featured over 4,000 participants, some marching, some dancing or playing in bands. Others sat in buggies, classic cars and floats. Thirty five of them no less in a procession that took two hours to complete. And then there were the horses. Hundreds of them (700 was quoted), making this arguably the most equine event of its type in the world. Plus the bull….maybe the biggest bull you will ever see walking downtown with a rider on top.
Kaillie Humphries and Mayor Nenshi amongst the riders
Olympic gold-medallist bobsledder, Kaillie Humphries was riding up-front as this years official Parade Marshall. Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi was also on a horse as were several of the Calgary Flames NHL hockey team.
For more images from The Calgary Stampede Parade, please visit