The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Begins!

CALGARY, July 9 /CNW/ - The 2010 edition of the Calgary Stampede, one of Canada's most famous tourism icons and one of the world's great urban festivals, kicked off this morning with the spectacular Stampede Parade.

More than 220,000 visitors from across Canada and 70 other countries are expected to visit Calgary for this year's city-wide celebration, Juy 9 to 18. With fireworks exploding and jets soaring overhead, the Parade was officially set off by Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with the Stampede Parade Marshalls Jet and Cord McCoy, real-life cowboys and celebrated contestants from the CBS show "The Amazing Race". An estimated crowd of 350,000 people lined the streets of downtown Calgary for the Parade.

Known as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, with 1.2 million visitors once again expected to spin the turnstiles at Stampede Park, the Calgary Stampede offers a unique set of experiences:

    
    -   the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, the most famous rodeo on the planet;
    -   the GMC Rangeland Derby, the world's premier chuckwagon championship;
    -   one of the world's leading western art exhibitions;
    -   the world's largest and most unique agriculture showcases;
    -   unique First Nations exhibition and encampment;
    -   an Evening Show spectacular that includes an amazing fireworks
        display;
    -   one of Canada's largest music festivals, and
    -   city-wide festivity that involves Calgarians pulling on cowboy hats
        and boots to participate in Stampede pancake breakfasts and barbecues
        in workplaces and neighbourhoods across the city.
    

These features are why BBC World called the annual Stampede festival the No.1 thing to do in the world in July and Mastercard Canada's 2007 Priceless Index called us the No.1 attraction or event in Canada for tourists to see.

"We have an exciting 10 days planned for Calgarians and the thousands of visitors who come from around the world," said Dr. David Chalack, Calgary Stampede president and chairman of the board. "People know they can come to the Stampede for a fun and exciting summer vacation and this year will be no different."

On Saturday, all Canadians will be able to watch the Stampede Parade on CBC Television at the following times:

    
    9:30 PT (Vancouver)

    10:30 MT (Alberta)
    11:30 CT (Winnipeg)

    12:30 ET (Toronto)
    1:30 AT (Halifax)
    2:00 NT (Newfoundland)
    

The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. The Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through its world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities. For more about the Stampede, visit www.calgarystampede.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE CALGARY STAMPEDE

For further information: For further information: Pam Taylor, Media Marketing Manager, T 403.261.0277, C 403.463.6384, F 403.261.0190, E ptaylor@calgarystampede.com

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CALGARY STAMPEDE

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