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Calgary Stampede draws 300,000 spectators for opening parade

UPI News Service, 07/04/2008 

About 300,000 people lined the streets of Calgary, Alberta, Friday to watch the opening parade of the 96-year-old Western-themed Calgary Stampede.

Amid the sounds and smells of horses and livestock and thousands of people in cowboy attire, the city began its 10-day annual event it bills as "the greatest outdoor show on Earth," celebrating the prairie province's origins.

The stampede, with its rodeo events of calf-roping, barrel racing, bareback riding, saddle bronc, bull riding and chuck wagon racing events draws hundreds of thousands of people each year, although organizers told the Canwest News Service they expected fewer U.S. visitors this year because of high gasoline prices.

A first for the stampede event this year was the inclusion of 10 members of the Canadian military on leave from combat duty in Afghanistan and their families in the parade, the report said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in town to help with the inaugural festivities, the report said.

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International


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