Calgary Stampede to go on 'come hell or high water'
Stampede will open as planned on July 5, organizers announce
Calgary Stampede officials plan to hold the city's annual event, despite devastating floods that washed out the grounds.
President Bob Thompson announced Monday the Stampede will run as scheduled from July 5-14.
"We have pumped millions of gallons of water from our facilities, scraped the mud from our tarmac, commenced the clean-up of our park, all to welcome guests from around the world," he said.
"Last year the theme of our centennial was: 'We are greatest together.' A year later this motto could not be more true. We are greatest together. We will be hosting the greatest outdoor show on earth, come hell or high water."
This will mark the 101st year of the Stampede.
"Throughout our entire history we have never cancelled a show, despite two wars and a Great Depression – 2013 will be no exception," said Thompson.
The rodeo, midway and chuckwagon races are scheduled to go ahead. The annual opening parade will also be held in the morning of July 5, likely with some changes to the route, which winds through downtown.
Crews and specialists have worked around-the-clock to pump and dry buildings and the race track and remove debris. Once the buildings are safe, volunteers will likely be needed to help out.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said city officials are excited the Stampede is going ahead as planned.
"Our primary responsibility as your municipal government right now is getting people back into their homes, getting the power back up, and getting downtown working again, but it is great that the Stampede is moving forward and we will be there when – and if – they need our assistance to make that happen."
The economic impact of the event is estimated at more than $300 million.