The Calgary Stampede will hold its iconic parade again this year after the event was suspended in 2020, but the Calgarians can expect a scaled-down format.
Along with several other safety improvements that the 10-day event will bring, the 2021 Stampede Parade will feature both a new route and a new viewing experience.
For the past several years, the parade has toured downtown Calgary amid thousands of crowds.
In a press release on Wednesday morning, the Calgary Stampede said the parade would take a new route this year and travel through Stampede Park before the gates on Friday morning, May 9.
Aside from the new route, the parade will only be shared with the community as a virtual experience, with all the excitement broadcast live on July 9th from 8am.
Viewers can follow the event on Global Calgary and Amazon Prime.
Event organizers said the parade spectators can expect to see many of the things we know and love, including floats, marching bands, and many mounted riders.
You can’t hold a parade without a leader, and the Calgary Stampede also announced Marshal 2021 on Wednesday morning.
Viewers of the parade can recognize Marshal Katari Right Hand on the 2021 Stampede poster. The talented Fancy Dancer of the Siksika First Nation can be seen on the poster in a picture that shows determination and perseverance in difficult times.
“Right Hand has been dancing and presenting their culture at the Stampede since childhood. Now at the age of 17, she will lead the iconic parade, opening the Stampede’s annual community celebration, ”the press release said.
Lexi Hilderman, the 22-year-old artist who created the 2021 Stampede poster, will attend the celebrations touring the route in the Calgary Stampede Foundation’s car.
“I am very proud and excited to be the 2021 Stampede Parade Marshal so I can represent Niitsitapiiks. I want to thank Lexi Hilderman for choosing my picture as her entry into the Calgary Stampede 2021 poster contest, ”said Right Hand.
The Parademarschall 2020, Filipe Masetti Leite, will also be represented at the event.
In 2012 Masetti saddled Leite and set off on a journey across America on horseback from the Calgary Stampede. His arrival in Calgary last year after this incredible hike was celebrated despite the cancellation of the 2020 Stampede Parade. This year Masetti Leite will celebrate again.
Additionally, the 2021 Stampede Parade plans to welcome a special group of Honor Parade Marshals who have been instrumental in the community for the past year and a half.
“We want to recognize the most important workers who have given so much to our community during the pandemic,” said Steve McDonough, president and chairman of the board of directors of Calgary Stampede. “From those who went to work every day at local grocery stores to make sure we had access to essential supplies, to the medical staff who worked so tirelessly.”
Even if the Stampede kick-off will look a little different this year, we can’t wait to (almost) see what spectacles the 2021 parade has to offer.