CALGARY -- The unofficial kickoff to the 2021 Calgary Stampede is set for Thursday night and will see the return of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth after a one-year absence.

The gates at Stampede Park will open at 5 p.m. for Sneak-a-Peek.

Admission will be reduced to $9 per person with children under the age of six admitted free.

Thursday's schedule of events include Aaron Pritchett taking the Nashville North stage at 8 p.m, and The Trews playing the Stampede Summer Stage at 9 p.m.

Thursday will be the first time the Calgary Stampede has welcomed guests since 2019 as last year's event was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The official start of the Calgary Stampede will take place Friday morning with an abbreviated Calgary Stampede Parade on the grounds without members of the public in attendance.