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Updated: Fri, 04 Jul 2014 11:36:32 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Calgary Stampede Parade this morning expected to draw 250,000



Thousands came out to enjoy the annual Calgary Stampede parade, including Vanessa Jenkins, 6, left, and Sophie Hunchak, who threw confetti on the route. (© Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Thousands came out to enjoy the annual Calgary Stampede parade, including Vanessa Jenkins, 6, left, and Sophie Hunchak, who threw confetti on the route. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The 2014 Calgary Stampede Parade, the opener to what is billed as the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," had people lining the route to get the best views hours before its kickoff this morning.

At 9 a.m. MT, the parade will begin in downtown Calgary, led by marshals William Shatner, the Star Trek star and one of Hollywood's most noted Canadians, and Olympic speedskaters Denny Morrison and Gilmore Junio.

Organizers say they are expecting about 250,000 people to line the downtown core for the annual event. Some spectators even camped overnight in the streets to get prime seats.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., Sixth Avenue and Ninth Avenue were closed to traffic between Third Street S.E. and 10 Street S.W. for preparations.

Here's the full route of the parade:

- Begins at Sixth Avenue and Third Street S.E. and travels west.

- Turns south at Sixth Avenue and 10 Street S.W.

- Turns east at Ninth Avenue and 10 Street S.W.

- Finishes at Ninth Avenue and Fourth Street S.E.

The Calgary Stampede runs to July 13.

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