Phasers set to fun: William Shatner kicks off the Calgary Stampede

William Shatner got an out-of-this-world welcome Friday as throngs of fans jostled to catch a glimpse of the Canadian-born actor, who is serving as this year’s Calgary Stampede parade grand marshal.

CALGARY — William Shatner got an out-of-this-world welcome Friday as throngs of fans jostled to catch a glimpse of the Canadian-born actor, who is serving as this year’s Calgary Stampede parade grand marshal.

Even before the parade began, some people were yelling “bring out William Shatner,” who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” TV series and subsequent films.

A crowd gathered as Shatner and his wife Elizabeth prepared to make their way down the parade route in the back of a light blue antique convertible. Fans snapped pictures on cellphones and clamoured for autographs.

“I’m excited that they’re excited,” said Shatner, who donned a white cowboy hat.

He said with a laugh that he’s looking forward to the end of the parade.

Shatner intends to stay in Cowtown for a while to take in the rodeo and other attractions.

“I’m going to be part of the experience,” he said. “That’s why we’re here, actually. We’re rodeo fans.”

About 250,000 people lined up early on downtown Calgary streets to get the best vantage point.

Rae Thorogood, who said she is a big fan of the actor, got up at 5 a.m. to stake out a prime spot.

“We barely slept. We were so excited,” she said.

Vern Neiley said he has never been able to make it out to the annual parade because he’s always had to work. Now that he’s retired, he said he couldn’t pass up a chance to attend this year.

“The big draw, I guess, was William Shatner. I’ve been a fan of his for a lot of years — ’Star Trek’ and all the other stuff that goes with it.”

For Neiley’s wife, Sandy, it was a similar story.

“William Shatner is one of my favourites as well too and he’s my big draw too,” she said.

“This is fabulous for Calgary and I think this is wonderful that we get so many people every year for the Stampede parade.”

Before the parade began Jean Cornell sat on a curb with her 18-month-old grandson squirming in her arms, while his siblings played nearby on a blanket.

She said seeing Shatner would be a treat. But for her the main attraction would be “watching these guys’ faces light up.”

On hand to watch the parade were Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

The Stampede runs through July 13.

Just Posted

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

High profile individual delays UCP vote for Red Deer-South

Nomination vote to be held early in 2019

Police back mandatory alcohol screening

New legislation taking effect on Dec. 18 allows alcohol testing of all drivers legally stopped

Manslaughter trial begins for Delburne man involved in 2016 collision

Delburne man is accused of causing a collision with a pickup he was following

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read