July 19th, 2024

Stampede parade goes big to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday

By Collin Gallant on July 26, 2017.

Submitted Image-- The route for the 2017 Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede parade.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com @CollinGallant

Organizers are predicting a larger and longer Stampede Parade in the downtown core on Thursday and are strongly suggesting that watchers plan ahead to beat the heat and potential traffic and parking problems.

Parade chairman Jim Balmer tells the News that confirmed entries number 125, not including a number of bands and dignitaries and horse groups, which is notably higher than last year.

The weather forecast is for sun — temperatures could be in the high 20 C range by parade’s end — meaning all systems are go for a good event.

“It is going to be a big, big parade,” said Balmer.

“Being Canada’s 150th birthday, we’re trying to celebrate that, and there is a community spirit about it.”

“Last year was a bit down with the economic times… the spirit is there and people are ready to come out and have a great parade.”

The procession begins at 9 a.m. sharp from the police station into downtown, then will wind the streets until concluding on River Road near the Medicine Hat Public Library at about 10 a.m.

A slightly altered route will run largely as usual, but will see the turnaround at Sixth Avenue, therefore avoiding South Railway Street and the 600 blocks of Second and Third streets.

This summer the city is reconstructing underground infrastructure and utility lines under South Railway Street. That work has progressed to past the parade route, but could cause some congestion for those entering the core.

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