What better way to celebrate the work that we do than to offer deserving kids a prime parade experience at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth complete with a close up “private” concert by Alberta’s very own award-winning country music artist Drew Gregory!

With our second annual Calgary Stampede parade float under our belt buckle, Kids Up Front wishes to thank the many supporters who have stood by us to make this a huge success and allow us to include some of the kids and families we serve directly in the parade experience!

We simply could not have done this without the continued support of Shane Homes and their wonderful staff who champion our kids and our cause.  Thank you for your continued commitment to provide this experience and to showcase our grassroots charity to over 200,000 people! Thank you for walking with us and waving at the crowds!

We also can not thank Drew Gregory enough; his travel and performance schedule is jam-packed, and he provides a first class first hand concert experience to the kids on our float and the 200,000 people lining the streets!  Thank you for believing in the work that we do, making time for us in your busy schedule and creating magic for so many!  It is truly an up close and personal experience for the kids and families on our float!  We appreciate it so very much!  We could not do it without you!  Besides, you really would not want to hear our staff sing now, would you?  Congratulations, Drew on your significant win at the Alberta Country Music Awards earlier this year!  We wish you continued success!

We also could not hit the streets in such Saddledome finery without our committed volunteer driver, Steve Luft.  Steve has volunteered for Kids Up Front for several years as a suite ambassador, and last year, in conjunction with the SAIT Construction Management Student Association volunteer crew, led by President Taylor Shoup, helped to create, design and build our fabulous “mini Saddledome” float.  For this we are extremely grateful!  Because, even worse than our staff singing, would be our staff using construction tools (except for Evan Patterson, our Executive Director, who really can operate a saw!).

Thank you to Marcus Fryia, of Marcus Fryia Video and Animation, for creating the artwork featured on our float and for capturing all the memories of the morning for us! You help us every year at our special events, and we are so very thankful!  Like our singing and our sawing, well, our little staff of 3.5 simply can not do it all! We rely on people like Marcus to help us showcase our special events and accomplishments, and to preserve our memories professionally.  Thank you as well to our friends at Big Print Signs who cheerfully delivered all printing details on the float which really made the float pop!

A special thanks to Geoff and his crew at Tows-R-Us towing company. This team selflessly donated their own time to make sure our float arrived safely to and from the Stampede Parade. We appreciate your support! We also appreciate the support from Steve Nunn at Zoom Zoom Motors!

Thank you to Taleb, for helping some newly immigrated families to have this amazing opportunity to be a part of our float and to enjoy Drew’s concert “up close and personal”!  We appreciate your support and the very very early morning start for your families!  This was an incredible opportunity for two newly immigrated families (one from Afghanistan and one from Syria) to have a firsthand look at the Calgary Stampede Parade and all that it entails.  They had a great time, enjoying the pre-parade pancake breakfast and marveling at the largesse of the event itself and the significant history of the Calgary Stampede and Calgary Stampede Parade.

Thank you to Sarah, as well, for bringing your van full of deserving children to be a part of the parade! We appreciate your belief in helping kids access new and wonderful opportunities!

As fast as the morning goes by, we wish to recognize the many many hours that go into this event, not just for our own parade float, but for the entire event.  It is an incredible feat to plan, organize, and facilitate such a large gathering in this city, and it really does feel flawless!  Thank you to everyone for making this possible, and to all involved in the Calgary Stampede Parade organizing committees, including a special thanks to our always helpful parade liaison Cathy Lane Goodfellow.  It is so incredible to have our grassroots charity be a part of the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth; we are very grateful.

To see more photos of the Stampede Parade, click here!


The Kids Up Front Team,

Evan, Nicky, Landon and Harlee