It’s almost time for the Greatest Show On Earth to begin for another year! The 104th edition of the Calgary Stampede officially kicks off on Friday, July 8 with the Stampede Parade.
Each year the Parade showcases more than 150 western-themed entries, including 30 marching bands, 40 floats, 750 horses and 4,000 people.
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Folks wake up before the crack of dawn to get their favourite spots on the Parade route. To help you navigate the parade, we’ve put together this handy guide.
The Calgary Stampede Parade takes place on Friday, July 8 this year.
Businesses on the parade route can request early liquor service, starting at 7 am, so there might be somewhere to find a drink if you’re starting the party early.
The Parade Prelude then starts at 8 am, when groups of clowns and mascots begin to circulate along the entire parade route.
Musical groups, dancers, singers, martial arts experts, equestrians and belly dancers also perform on every corner along the route.
The Main Stampede Parade starts at 8:55 am, led by the Calgary Stampede Showband, followed by intricate floats, marching bands, western riders and much more.
The Parade ends around noon.
The parade will cover 4.5 km of downtown Calgary streets:
- Begins at 6th Avenue and 3rd Street S.E. and travels west.
- Turns south at 6th Avenue and 10th Street S.W.
- Turns east at 9th Avenue and 10th Street S.W.
- Finishes at 9th Avenue and 4th Street S.E.
The sidewalks along 6 and 9 Avenues are available to the general public on a first come, first served basis. There’ll be huge crowds so it’s best to arrive early to find a prime viewing spot.
Although the Parade is open to everyone for free, you can reserve a small amount of bleacher seating through the following non-profit organizations:
- Seating U – $28.50 +GST
- The 31st St. Cyprian Scout Group – $39 inc. tax and fees
- Rotary Club of Calgary West – $55 + GST (includes pancake or sausage breakfast)
- Rotary Club of Calgary Centennial – $35 (includes drink and pastry)
For those with mobility issues, the City has reserved accessible viewing zones until 8 am. Space is limited, so get there early – after 8 am, any space still available will be open to the public.
- Bums on the curb, feet in the gutter
- Leave room in the roadway for parade vehicles
- Do not cross the route after the Prelude starts
- Remember water, a broad hat and SPF 30 sunscreen
- No umbrellas or parasols – they block everyone’s view
Starting at 7:30 am, the following roads will be closed in Calgary:
- Westbound 6 Avenue from 3 Street SE to 10 Street SW
- 10 Street SW from 6 Avenue SW to 9 Avenue SW
- Eastbound 9 Avenue from 10 Street SW to 3 Street SE
- The 5 Avenue SW lane reversal will be open from 6 to 7 am only.
- All roadways are expected to reopen by approximately 2 pm
Many parking lots will also be closed during the Parade. For more info, check calgary.ca
The CTrain runs before, during and after the parade. Some regular and express buses may be detoured to accommodate the festivities. For more info check here: calgarytransit.com/news/stampede-101