The first day of the Calgary Stampede is marked by a 2 hour parade generally starting at around 9:00AM. The parade route travels from east to west and back across the downtown core. It is pretty much necessity for those who work downtown to work only a half day due to parking and transit considerations. Many employers in or out of downtown will allow workers the morning or day off to see the parade and Stampede, however. The Stampede grounds are officially declared open at around 11:00AM.
Every night of Stampede Week at around 11:00PM, after the Grandstand Show (the reason for the slogan "The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth"), there is a beautiful display of fireworks that are visible from the grounds and surrounding area and audible from everywhere in the city.