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March 29, 2012 marked 100 Days until The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is celebrated for the 100th time.

100 days to show the world what hospitality and community spirit is all about. Already hailed as one of the best parties on the planet, The Calgary Stampede is about to step it up a notch for this year’s party.

Guy Weadick promised big things when it first started in 1912, and he delivered.

The Calgary Herald reported that “fully eighty thousand people saw the parade,” . . . turning out en masse to witness the event, considered to be the “greatest pageant of western types and western history ever gathered together on the American continent .”

The Calgary Stampede Parade is easily one of the highlights, and the unveiling of The Stampede Parade Marshal is a secret held tighter than who wins the Oscars.

The 100th Anniversary Calgary Stampede Parade Marshal will be Ian Tyson. The Seven chiefs of First Nations communities will be honourary marshals including Chief Big Plume of Tsuu T’ina.

MUSIC Ian Tyson Wall 20120328 / THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

“This is truly a special year and I’m pleased we have the opportunity to recognize the people who’ll be at the front of our Centennial Parade,” says Mike Casey, president and chairman of the board, Calgary Stampede. “Our Parade Marshal is someone who symbolizes western heritage and values, is an iconic Canadian and someone who embodies the Calgary Stampede. And as we get set to celebrate our centennial, I’m thrilled to have the seven Honourary Parade Marshals join us as they represent a relationship that started 100 years ago and remains strong today.”

The 2012 Calgary Stampede will go July 6 – 15, and here’s just a piece of what to expect with the latest promise of spectacular:

  • A Stampede show “unlike anything anyone has ever seen” that will feature the best in western horsemanship and the finest in First Nations performances
  • A partnership with Roots Canada resulting in a product line commemorating the 100th anniversary
  • An array of concerts, including Canadian country music superstars Johnny Reid, and Paul Brandt starring in the Grandstand shows
  • A new roller-coaster named Outlaw to honour the famous rodeo bull, and a 260-metre zip line across Stampede Park
  • ”Surprise birthday cake” celebrations at community events in and around Calgary
  • A “white hat roundup” recognizing 100 Albertans who exemplify western heritage; and,
  • A new website to share stories, photos, poetry and video

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    For some this is a party about Calgary beer, western wear, and Stampede midway food. You can have all that, in the end, for me, it’s still about community spirit. It’s about being proud of where you live, and meeting your neighbours. It’s the ultimate pep rally.

    Are you coming?

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