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Calgary Stampede Parade kicks off 2022 edition of the Greatest Show on Earth

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WATCH: After a cancellation in 2020 and a scaled-down version of the event in 2021, the Calgary Stampede Parade returned to the downtown core to kick off the 2022 festivities. As Michael King reports, parade marshal Kevin Costner shared his thoughts on this year's message of coming together once again. – Jul 8, 2022

Wipe the dust off your boots and grab the cowboy hat — the Calgary Stampede Parade is back.

The Stampede Parade officially kicked off the 10-day event on Friday morning.

Read more: Calgary Stampede Parade set to return following 2 years of cancellations due to COVID-19

Led by parade marshal Kevin Costner, the parade started at 9 a.m. and ran until just a bit after 11 a.m.

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2022 Calgary Stampede parade marshal, Kevin Costner – Jul 8, 2022

Costner spoke at a media availability along with the 2022 honorary parade marshal John Scott. According to the Calgary Stampede, Scott has been an instrumental member of the Stampede community and has been at the heart of the local film industry for more than 50 years, showcasing southern Alberta on both the big and small screens.

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When asked if the pair have worked together in film, Scott mentioned he’s rounded some horses for Costner in the past, one specifically being the 2003 flick Open Range. Though when Costner took to the mic, he joked about who’s the real cowboy in town.

“Here’s the truth: John is a real cowboy and I’m an imaginary cowboy,” Costner joked.

Read more: Yahoo: Calgary Stampede returns with parade, spectators and no limits

“I realize how lucky I’ve been in my life and not many people get to save the girl, get to save the day, get to go after the ‘bad guy’ and I sometimes feel like when I’m doing it (acting) I’m doing it for everybody. You know, I try to do my own stunts because I know (anybody might say), ‘if they didn’t have the chance to do it themselves, why would you even want to get into this game?'”

​Costner credited Scott along with others in the western industry for the help over the years to make the films he’s in as “authentic” as they can be.

The theme of this year’s Stampede is “together again,” after the pandemic ended up shutting down the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth in 2020 and then in 2021, had a modified version of the event along with a compressed, no-attendees parade.

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Costner explained with his career and life in the spotlight. He sometimes goes and does things where others don’t want to join him, which is fine when he has to attend things by himself, but said it’s “always so much better to be with people.”

“We need each other,” Costner said.

“COVID has reminded us sometimes that things can be taken from us in a wink of an eye and to understand we can come back out and celebrate this parade, this yearly thing that’s been happening for over 100 years.”

The parade was hosted by Global’s Dallas Flexhaug, Blake Lough, Leslie Horton and Jeff McArthur from The Morning Show.

This year’s parade featured more than 90 entrants, including marching bands, floats and mounted colour parties. The 2022 parade route started at 3 Street S.E. and made its way west along 9 Avenue until 10 Street S.W. where it headed north to 6 Avenue S.W. before making its way back east to 3 Street S.E.

The 2022 Calgary Stampede Parade route. Credit: Calgary Stampede

Explore parts of the 2022 Stampede Parade in the photo gallery featured below.

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Onlookers pose for a photo with one of the mascots during the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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A parade entry at the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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The Calgary Sports and Entertainment entry for the 2022 Calgary Stampede parade on Jly 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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Calgary Flames defenceman Michael Stone along with members of the Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team during the 2022 Calgary Stampede parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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The Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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The Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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One of the many floats at the 2022 Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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Vintage tractors at the 2022 Calgary Stampede Parade on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News
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Kevin Costner, the 2022 Calgary Stampede Parade Marshal riding beside honorary pararde marshal, John Scott on July 8, 2022. Jessika Guse, Global News

“The Calgary Stampede Parade Committee is eager to get back to doing what they love — putting on a full parade,” said Dwayne Spence, chair of the Calgary Stampede Committee.

“We have assembled a terrific lineup with many of the traditional entries Calgarians look forward to seeing, as well as a few new surprises.”

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Click to play video: 'Excitement builds with Calgary Stampede set to return to normal after 2 years of limitations' Excitement builds with Calgary Stampede set to return to normal after 2 years of limitations
Excitement builds with Calgary Stampede set to return to normal after 2 years of limitations – Jul 5, 2022

Third-generation rancher John Scott has been named honorary parade marshal. His company, John Scott Productions, is heavily involved in the local film industry. For more than 50 years, it has showcased southern Alberta on the small and big screens.

Officials with the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth are promising a pre-pandemic event at this year’s Calgary Stampede.

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