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Olympic snowboarder, Humboldt first responders help kick off Stampede parade

Click to play video '2018 Calgary Stampede kicks off with Stampede Parade' 2018 Calgary Stampede kicks off with Stampede Parade
WATCH: The 2018 Calgary Stampede kicked off Friday with the annual parade. Doug Vaessen has the highlights.

Enthusiastic crowds lined the streets of downtown Calgary this morning for the Calgary Stampede parade.

Cowboy hats, horses and marching bands were in abundance for the parade, which marks the beginning of the annual 10-day event.

The parade marshal this year was Olympic snowboarder Mark McMorris, who came back from a serious injury to win a bronze medal at the last Winter Olympics.

WATCH: Dallas Flexhaug and Scott Fee host coverage of the 2018 Calgary Stampede Parade

Click to play video 'Full coverage: The 2018 Calgary Stampede Parade' Full coverage: The 2018 Calgary Stampede Parade
Full coverage: The 2018 Calgary Stampede Parade

“It’s pretty messed up that I got to this position by riding a piece of wood down a mountain,” McMorris said Friday before the parade began.

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“I’m glad I can inspire the youth. It’s good. There’s a youthful presence here at the Stampede.”

WATCH: The Stampede parade is a Calgary tradition. It sets the stage for the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth but also highlights western spirit. Tony Tighe has been look back at how it all started and has evolved.

Click to play video 'Calgary Stampede Parade celebrates western culture' Calgary Stampede Parade celebrates western culture
Calgary Stampede Parade celebrates western culture

McMorris, who was riding a horse called Texas, was expecting to be a bit sore by the end of the parade.

“I’m excited to see if I’m bowlegged.”

There were also some special guests wearing “Humboldt Strong” T-shirts.

WATCH: First responders of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash were honoured during the annual Calgary Stampede Parade.

Click to play video 'Calgary Stampede honours Humboldt Broncos crash first responders' Calgary Stampede honours Humboldt Broncos crash first responders
Calgary Stampede honours Humboldt Broncos crash first responders

First responders from a crash in Saskatchewan in April between a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team and a semi-trailer in Saskatchewan were invited to march along the route.

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The collision killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

READ MORE: Calgary Stampede 2018: New food to hit the midway