The scale of the Calgary Stampede Parade is impressive. Marching bands come from all over to participate. You can get up at the crack of dawn to nab a good spot and then guard it from interlopers until it all wraps up mid-morning. You might get back on the train eventually, once the crowds start to thin out.
Or you can just go to the Bowness Parade the following morning to see a scaled-down version with easy parking, front-row seats, and massive quantities of candy.
The official Stampede Parade is a sugar-free affair, but our kids came home from the Bowness parade with more candy than Halloween. It was crazy. We are almost scared to go back, because we are worried about the kids' health.
Another highlight of the parade was the Helping Hands. The LDS group had contingent of youth volunteers who came out and marched. We knew most of them, so they gave us extra candy.
Afterwards we hit the pancake breakfast, where we recognized even more LDS volunteers serving up the food. It was fine, but given that the proceedings were high on gluten and low on kiddie games, we will likely just take our goodie bags and run when the parade wraps up next year.
We [Heart] Bowness