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Final preparations underway as Calgary counts down to Stampede


Calgary Stampede crews were busy on Wednesday putting the finishing touches on the grounds before the party begins.

The midway rides were set, food truck operators were warming up the grills and 3,500 new employees – many of them youth – were getting their final instructions.

'The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth' attracts one-million visitors every year.

The show gets underway with Sneek-a-Peek on Thursday at 5 p.m. but officially starts Friday morning with the Stampede parade.

Tune into CTV on Friday – on TV or online – for our live parade coverage beginning at 8:55 a.m.

The parade is expected to last two hours and feature more than 100 entries.

Tents preparing

Off the grounds, the bars and tents are also in the final stages of set up for a busy 11 days.

Jamal Ali, the owner and director of the Back Alley Stampede events tent, said there is lots of energy around the city leading up to the Stampede.

“I haven’t felt this kind of energy in years,” Ali said.

Employees at the Back Alley were busy getting the tent ready for Stampede on July 3, 2024. (CTV News)

Into its second year hosting a Stampede festival, the Back Alley wanted to showcase some Canadian talent, with its 2024 lineup including Loverboy and the Barenaked Ladies.

“It’s important to us to have Canadian acts in our lineup,” Ali said.

New this year to the Back Alley tent is a market area that will include local vendors selling a variety of Calgary-made products.

“The Stampede is so special to Calgary and we are so blessed and so lucky here at the Back Alley to have a tent and to celebrate 11 days with the people of Calgary,” he said.

Safety and security

On top of all the preparations to make it a fun and memorable Stampede, officials are also implementing security measures to help keep everyone safe.

“Security screening will be familiar to those who have attended Stampede in the past with metal detectors and bag searches at the entrances,” Kerrie Blizard, the director of public safety with the Stampede, said.

“This year we have increased the number of search lanes and entries so that we can do more thorough searches while ensuring the lines keep moving.”

Calgary police say they will have a highly visible presence at Stampede Park and along the parade route.

The grounds will have its own police district with a dedicated commander.

“If you're down on the grounds you can report any suspicious behaviour to any Stampede security to police officers on the grounds,” Staff Sgt. J.F. Dery with the Calgary Police Service said.

“You can go to the Stampede office at the Big Four building, you can call our non-emergency line of 403-266-1234. And also obviously if it's something urgent, you can also call 911.”

Patrols by peace officers and security guards will be increased around the transit system.

The newly expanded BMO Centre will be a refuge for those looking to get out of the rain or take a break from the sun.

The Stampede will also follow outdoor water restrictions, by using non-potable water for competition grooming and to clean the midway. Top Stories

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