CALGARY – While hundreds of thousands of Calgarians and visitors may not personally celebrate Calgary Stampede 2020, Calgary Stampede continues to honor its iconic Western heritage traditions.
The 10-day event was supposed to start Friday with its iconic parade of majestic horses, pleasant bands and colorful floats.
The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event for the first time since its creation in 1912, although organizers promise that its proud energy and cultural experience are still alive and well.
“We may not be able to meet or celebrate in the traditional way during Stampede 2020, but Stampede Spirit cannot be canceled,” said Dana Peers, president and chairman of the Calgary Stampede Council.
Even without a parade this year, an honorary marshal is still warming the hearts of the Calgarians.
Filipe Masetti Leite, a Brazilian cowboy who gallops around the world, will lead the charge on Friday at a special midday ceremony at Stampede Park to kick off the biggest open-air show in the world.
Masetti Leite got into the saddle and started a 26,800-kilometer hike on horseback from the Calgary Stampede to celebrate the event’s centennial in 2012.
For the past eight years, he has traveled the Americas on horseback – an extraordinary dream transmitted by his father and inspired by the legendary riders of the past.
He embarked on a journey from Calgary to his native Brazil, which took 803 days over 16,000 kilometers. From there, he went to Ushuaia, Argentina, in the southern tip of South America.
“I knew I had to finish the Americas after that, so I went to Fairbanks, Alaska, and I knew I had to compete on the journey in Calgary,” said Masetti Leite.
The Brazilian, who emigrated to Canada as a teenager, traveled 2,600 kilometers last year from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Grande Prairie, Alta.
On May 20 this year, he started his final leg for Calgary with the horses Max and Smokey.
“Every day I had to knock on a stranger’s door and ask for help and every day I received help, whether they had everything or nothing, they gave me what they had,” explained Masetti Leie. “This is the most beautiful thing and something that I want to share with people.”
“Being named marshal at the Calgary Stampede parade is the greatest honor of my life. I love the Western heritage and the values I have learned have made me who I am today.”
Masetti Leite is expected to enter Calgary from the northwest part of the city on Friday, where he will stop at Bowness off-leash park to prepare for his final journey to the Stampede grounds.
The 2020 parade marshal will follow Memorial Drive to Stampede Park, where he is expected to arrive between 12:15 and 12:30 for a special ceremony.
A new way to meet Stampede’s favorites
Despite restrictions on public meetings, Calgary Stampede has created some fun and creative ways to experience its iconic milieu this year.
A series of gastronomic events will allow Calgarians to enjoy the delights of Stampede that they love in a controlled environment.
A drive-thru mini-donut, a BMO Kids’ Day pancake breakfast, and a Stampede food truck rally presented by Sentinel Self Storage are expected to offer a wide variety of tasty treats.
“It’s hard to imagine a July in Calgary without a breakfast of pancakes, mini-donuts and other delights,” said Dana Peers, president and president of the Calgary Stampede Board.
“I am extremely excited to share that enjoying the three Stampede clips will be possible in July and we also have some more surprises in store!”
The events will take place at the following times.
Mini drive-thru donut:
Stampede Park, noon – 9 pm, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 July
The advance purchase offer includes two free tickets to Sneak-a-Peek at Calgary Stampede 2021, courtesy of Bell
Pre-order information available soon, see CalgaryStampede.com for more details
BMO Kids’ Day pancake tour:
Stampede Park, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 8
Complimentary breakfast provided by BMO
Early registration required, available soon, see CalgaryStampede.com for more details
Stampede Food Truck Rally presented by Sentinel Storage:
Stampede Park, noon – 9 pm, 4 and 5 July
Additional dates and locations to be announced, see Calgarystampede.com for more details
Pancakes to go, please?
The Community Pancake Drive-Thru presented by GMC hopes to keep the Stampede spirit alive with a free pancake breakfast at Cross Iron Mills this Saturday.
The event will take place from 9 am to noon and requires online pre-registration to reduce queues and ensure that breakfast is hot and ready when people arrive.
Limited seats are available and food will be offered only to those in vehicles, with no traffic allowed.
To register, go to CalgaryStampede.com
Bell Fireworks show lights up the sky
It wouldn’t be Stampede without fireworks, right?
The Bell Fireworks Spectacular show will be good at bringing the Calgarians a bigger and taller display than the traditional Stampede fireworks and available to anyone with a view of the city skyline.
The fireworks shows will take place at 11 pm on July 3 and 12.
Stampede Park will be closed to the public for the event, as the entire Stampede enclosure will be used for the massive display of fireworks.
CTV Calgary will broadcast the Bell Fireworks Spectacular live on television and a live broadcast will be available on our website.
Those who want to watch the fireworks outdoors are invited to follow physical distance protocols.
Once you’ve found a location, tune in to FUNNY 1060AM for a musical soundtrack that will accompany the display.