This week the Calgary Stampede Showband and Showriders returned to Calgary from Pasadena, California where they rang in 2019 by marching in the Rose Parade. Preparation for the parade was a year and a half in the making and all came together with two final rehearsals in Pasadena on December 29 and 31.
Final parade rehearsal before the Rose Parade. Photo credit: Mike Siewert
The Showband also participated in Bandfest on December 30 with the support of the Showriders on the sidelines. Bandfest is an event hosted by the Tournament of Roses and REMO (the world’s largest drumhead company) that allows participating bands to showcase their performance skills before the Rose Parade. The support of the Showriders truly embodied the community spirit of the Calgary Stampede.
Calgary Stampede Showband performing at Bandfest. Photo credit: Mike Siewert
The Calgary Stampede Showriders and Showband were up before the crack of dawn on January 1 to prepare for the Rose Parade, which kicked off at 8 a.m. ., The Showband and Showriders represented Calgary well, as the only marching band and equestrian groups participating together. The 5.5 mile/8.9 km parade route took about 2.5 hours to march, with members logging more than 15,000 steps. None of the 165 Showband members or 16 Showriders had ever participated in the Rose Parade before, so it was a day of firsts for all.
Calgary Stampede Showband and Showriders representing Canada in the Rose Parade. Video Credit: Joan Fullerton
After the parade, the Showband and Showriders gathered at the disbanding area and enjoyed complimentary and well-deserved In-N-Out Burger – a California classic. Both the Showband and Showriders had tremendous support from fans back in Calgary as well as from many friends and family who traveled to Pasadena to cheer them on during the parade. While the members were on tour, the Calgary Stampede youth programs gained hundreds of new fans and generated interest from those fans in travelling to experience the Calgary Stampede. The members are were proud to represent Calgary, Canada and the Calgary Stampede to the world.
Calgary Stampede Showriders in the Rose Parade. Photo credit: Mike Siewert
Visits spiked on the Calgary Stampede Showband social media channels during the tour:
17,116 likes (about 1 like every 30 seconds)
28 media releases
1 shout-out from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley
28 media outlets from Canada and the US ran media releases and broadcast clips about the tour:
On January 2, the Showband and Showriders had the opportunity to explore Disneyland. After a fun day on park, both youth programs marched through Main Street Disneyland as part of the evening parade. What a ‘magical’ way to celebrate their achievements!
Calgary Stampede Showband marching through Main Street Disneyland. Photo credit: Tesha Kazakoff
At the end of tour, all of the equipment that the Showband used in the Rose Parade and Bandfest was loaded back onto one truck for arrival in Calgary on Sunday or Monday. This equipment usually requires two or three trucks for transport but our truck-driving volunteers exercised some amazing Tetris-like skills!
Loaded truck with Calgary Stampede Showband equipment. Photo credit: Gloria Laurendeau
Next up: the Showband will be working hard on their 2019 field show to showcase during the World Association of Marching Showbands (WAMSB) competitions – which will be held in Calgary this year during Stampede and will attract dozens of visiting bands from around the world. Don’t miss it!