Friday July 7, 2017 — The Calgary Stampede parade should have great weather for its annual Saturday morning tour through the city, and this year the parade route is reversed to help better co-ordinate the large crowds.

In a press release, the Calgary Stampede said that the reversed parade route is to “make it easier for parade-goers to get to Stampede Park after the parade.” The parade will be moving away from Stampede Park which will allow viewers to get to the park a lot easier without congested traffic.

This year, Stampede Park will be free following the parade — for guests that go to the park between 11 a.m.. and 1:30 p.m.People will be able to enjoy free admission into Stampede Park after the parade up until 1:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Shaun Robinson and Calgary Stampede

Weather for parade day is looking to be really hot with temperatures forecasted to reach 31C. The Calgary Stampede advises people to “bring a broad brimmed hat, stay hydrated with water, wear a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen.”

There are a few different places that spectators may watch the parade. The Stampede is encouraging people to arrive early to find “optimal viewing spots.”

“More than 80 per cent of the parade route along Ninth and Sixth Avenues is available for free-of-charge seating on a first-come, first-served basis.”

The expected attendance for this year’s parade is 150,000. As well, over 700 horses and approximately 4,000 people will be taking part in the parade  — 12 bands, 34 floats, 11 horse hitches, 10 mounted colour parties and 46 miscellaneous entries.

Stampede 2016 parade marshals, Jann Arden and Paul Brandt. Photo courtesy of Chris Bolin and Calgary Stampede

For the third time in Stampede history, parade marshals will be chiefs of Treaty 7 Nations.

The marshals include: Chief Roy Fox, Kainai/Blood Tribe; Chief Stanley (Stan) C. Grier, Piikani Nation; Chief Joseph Weasel Child, Siksika Nation; Stoney Nakoda Nations: Chief Darcy Dixon, Bearspaw First Nation; Chief Ernest Wesley, Wesley First Nation; Chief Aaron Young, Chiniki First Nation; and Tsuut’ina First Nation Chief Lee Crowchild.

According to the Stampede the parade route “is 4.8 kilometres in length. It takes approximately two hours to pass any one point on the route.  It would take the average person just over 6,300 steps to complete the entire route.”

The parade will start near the Calgary Tower at  Ninth Avenue and First Street S.E. and then head west to Tenth Street where it turns north The parade then heads east on Sixth Avenue S.W. and is expected to finish around 1 p.m. at Macleod Trail.

The Calgary Stampede parade route for 2017. Click the photo for more information. Photo courtesy of Calgary Stampede

Parade facts

  • Approximately two tons of manure will be deposited on the parade route.
  • Only three Prime Ministers (Louis St. Laurent, Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau (twice) and two Alberta Premiers (Peter Lougheed, twice, and Ralph Klein,twice) have ever been parade marshals.
  • Past Parade Marshals include: Bing Crosby (1959), Walt Disney (1965), Sam Elliot (1998), Rick Hansen (2011), William Shatner (2014), and Paul Brandt (2016). Mickey Mouse has been Parade Marshal 3 times.

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Editor: Ian Tennant | itennant@cjournal.ca