CALGARY - A year after the massive flooding that hit the city, the 102nd Calgary Stampede kicked-off with renewed enthusiasm from the community.
Filipino participants thrilled the crowd with performances of the tinikling, Ifugao and hip-hop dances during the annual two-and-a-half mile parade.
Kababayans also unveiled the Filipino community's "sorbetero" or ice cream cart and the second largest Philippine flag in Canada.
For Calgarians, this year's stampede is proof that the city has gotten back on its feet after last year's natural disaster.
“I think it's great. I think it's still positive, everybody is still positive about it and we are still hoping since last year that it's a good stampede for this year and I think this is the start of it,” said Eugene Andres.
Canadian legendary showbiz icon William Shatner was this year's parade marshal.
Calgary-based speed skating Olympians Denny Morrison and Filipino-Canadian Gilmore Junio were also made honorary marshals for their unique camaraderie during the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Kababayans were thrilled to see Junio as one of the celebrities leading the parade.
“Well, we are actually proud na na-feature siya kasi before sa Sochi games nung na-feature siya sa Calgary Sun excited na kaming lahat kasi pinakita niya ang sportsmanship ng mga Filipino kaya iyon we are proud of him,” said Marlon Sulit
Different groups from across Alberta joined the festivities with their beautiful floats and performances.
The 10-day event was filled with concerts, visits by rodeo stars and beauty queens, nightly fireworks, rodeo shows and chuck wagon races.
It was made more special for everyone with the daily free breakfast, free entrance to the stampede grounds on family day and kids day, and lots of giveaways and never-ending activities.
“It’s lots of fun. It brings family and friends together. I love the stampede parade, i was there. I've been there for five years I guess. I also like the family day,” said Lizzie Quebral Galbraith.
The stampede gives everybody the unique experience of being a cowboy and cowgirl in a hospitality-filled atmosphere.