Last year, about 150,000 spectators lined the route.
CBC is broadcasting the parade on CBC-TV (LIVE in Alberta only), and online here, and at CBCSports.ca from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MT, with the CBC’s Doug Dirks and Angela Knight and Heartland’s Graham Wardle doing on-the-street coverage.
CBC will broadcast an encore presentation of the parade on Saturday on CBC-TV from 10 a.m. to noon.
The marshal for this year’s Stampede parade is Amber Marshall, one of the stars of the CBC Television drama Heartland. Marshall, 31, is best known for her role as Amy Fleming, “the horse-whispering miracle girl” on the long-running hit series.
Marshall and her husband own their own ranch and are active in the rodeo world. This year, the Stampede is celebrating women in western culture.
This year’s parade also marks the 100th anniversary of what was called the Victory Stampede after the First World War.
Admission to Stampede Park is free between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on parade day.
The event in 1919 was the first after the Great War and was officially opened by Brig.-Gen. H.F. McDonald, who was commanding Military District 13 at Camp Sarcee in Calgary.
As a tribute to the soldiers of the First World War, Brig.-Gen. Stephen Lacroix will ride in the parade, escorted by two officers from the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Mounted Troop.
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It’s “a spectacular entry paying homage to that Stampede and Canadian men and women who have served our nation in that war and in the century following, [and] will be a special finale to the parade,” the Stampede said in a release.
This year will feature more marching bands than you can shake a baton at, since Calgary is the host city for the 2019 World Association of Marching Show Bands competition, which started Thursday and ends Sunday at Stampede Park in and around the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Bands from around the world, including Germany, Austria, Taiwan and New Zealand, and more than 1,400 participants are marching in Friday’s parade.