The Calgary Stampede is going ahead with the iconic kick-off to the annual event, but the 2021 Stampede Parade will look vastly different than in years past.
Organizers announced on Wednesday that there will be a scaled-down parade held on the Stampede grounds on Friday, July 9, which is the first day of the 2021 Calgary Stampede.
However, the parade is not open to the public and will instead be broadcast live on Global News and streamed live on GlobalNews.ca/Calgary and YouTube.
The Parade will still feature many of the things Calgarians know and love about it, including floats, marching bands and mounted riders.
The 2021 Calgary Stampede Parade will start at 8 a.m. on July 9, featuring Katari Right Hand as parade marshal.
Right Hand, a 17-year-old fancy dancer from Siksika First Nation, is featured on the 2021 Calgary Stampede poster.
“I am very proud and excited to be the 2021 Stampede Parade Marshal, so I can represent Niitsitapiiks,” she said in a press release.
Also joining in the festivities will be Lexi Hilderman, the 22-year-old artist who created the 2021 Stampede poster, travelling the route in the Calgary Stampede Foundation carriage.
In addition, 2020 honorary Stampede parade marshal Felipe Masetti Leite will return to Calgary for the event.
Last year, the Calgary Stampede was forced to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time in over 100 years that the historic event wasn’t held.
While the 2021 Calgary Stampede is a go, it’s still uncertain what the 10-day event will look like and what health measures or restrictions will be in place during its run.
Alberta moves into stage two of the UCP’s reopening plan on Thursday, at which time outdoor public gatherings of 150 people will be allowed and outdoor fixed seating (like grandstands, for example) can operate at one-third of capacity. However, social distancing and masking requirements will remain in effect.
The province could implement stage three of its Open for Summer plan by late June or early July, two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans age 12 and above have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. At that point, all restrictions would be lifted.
However, Kenney said on Monday that when the province will reach the 70 per cent vaccination target remains unclear.
“We are seeing diminishing demand for the first dose of the vaccines,” Kenney said. “We have only 100,000 bookings over the next seven days, and for us to reach the 70 per cent threshold that will trigger our full Open For Summer plan two weeks after (Thursday) we need about 115,000 more people to get their first dose of vaccine.”
“We’re getting to that critical point right now where every additional person who decides to get the first dose is going to be able to accelerate the full openness of Alberta,” he said. “So if you’ve been holding back for one reason or another, now is the time — over the next week — to get the jab so that we can move forward more quickly with the full open for summer plan.”
The 2021 Calgary Stampede is slated to run July 9-18.