It’s been more than a year and a half in the making, but the Calgary Stampede Showband and Calgary Stampede Showriders are finally heading to Pasadena, California to march in the highly anticipated and globally recognized Rose Parade.

This will be the fourth time that the Showband and Showriders will participate together in the Rose Parade on January 1, 2019 after attending in 1997, 2003 and 2012. This year’s parade is aptly themed “The Melody of Life”, celebrating the universal language of music.

The Calgary Stampede Showband and Showriders at the Rose Parade 2003. Photo credit: Joleseh Photography

For the last four months, the more than 180 dedicated youth that make up the Showband have been rehearsing relentlessly to prepare for the 5.5 mile/8.9 km parade route in Pasadena. The parade will be a test of their endurance as it is almost twice the length of the Calgary Stampede Parade.

Performing live for more than 75 million people (live and via live webcast) internationally is an opportunity that the members are eager to experience.

Rehearsing for the Rose Parade 2018. Photo credit: Dina Reid

The Showband is one of 19 bands in the parade and the only Canadian musical entry. The Showriders are also participating in the parade, who are some of Alberta’s best young horsewomen. They will perform alongside the Showband and deliver the CS brand of western hospitality to the local crowds – which are expected to reach around 700,000 along the route. The Showriders are one of 18 equestrian entries and again, the only Canadian entry in that category.

The Calgary Stampede Showriders at the Rose Parade in 2012. Photo credit: The Calgary Stampede Showband

Leading up to the Rose Parade, the Showband will also be performing at Bandfest, an event hosted by the Tournament of Roses and REMO that allows participating bands to showcase their performance skills. The Showband is sure to energize and entertain the crowds with an upbeat performance that conveys the community spirit of the Calgary Stampede. This performance will allow the Showband to showcase the musicianship and showmanship that led to them being invited to represent Canada at this prestigious event.

Bandfest 2012. Photo credit: Marching.com

To conclude this amazing tour, the  Showband and Showriders will be visiting and performing at Disneyland in Anaheim, California! Marching a short parade at Disneyland is exciting for members as they are able to interact directly with the crowds –one of their favourite things to do. What a ‘magical’ way to end the week!

Check out the live stream online and cheer on the Showband and Showriders in the Rose Parade and Bandfest. Catch the tour highlights and stay up-to-date on the latest from the Stampede Showband by following them on Facebook, Twitter  and Instagram. You can also follow the Calgary Stampede Showriders on their tour by following them on Facebook and Instagram.