Applications for 2023 Calgary Stampede parade now open

Parade marshal Kevin Costner, centre, waves to fans during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Applications for this year’s Calgary Stampede parade are now open, and all local community and cultural organizations are invited to participate.

Stampede, dubbed the “greatest outdoor show on earth,” will return this July with a grand parade that is estimated to draw in thousands.

The organization estimated more than 305,000 watched the parade in person last year, with thousands more watching on television and online streams.

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The parade aims to celebrate the city’s western heritage and culture and includes huge floats, horses, marching bands and parade marshals.

Community groups, cultural organizations, local and national businesses, service clubs, marching bands and equine enthusiasts are all invited to take part in the parade. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 15.

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Stage performance groups are encouraged to participate in the parade prelude. Performers will perform in static locations along the parade route before the start of the main parade.

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“It’s all about diversity and the community… We’re looking for more and more entries,” Keith Marlowe, vice-chair of Stampede’s parade committee, told reporters on Thursday.

“Last year was the record breaker and it was one of our biggest and most well-attended shows ever. We want to carry that farther.”

Marlowe added he wants to involve more international visitors and organizations in Stampede.

“Last year, a lot of international visitors couldn’t plan or commit because travel wasn’t completely back to normal whereas now they’re more comfortable. We are already looking at 2024,” he said.

For more information on how to apply, visit the Stampede website.

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