INNISFAIL - Living legend Jack Daines will take centre stage during Innisfail’s rodeo weekend.
Daines, 82, was chosen to be this year's parade marshal for the annual Innisfail Rotary Parade.
“I’m absolutely thrilled. I started that rodeo 58 years ago myself and ran it for 50-some years,” said Daines.
“I’m very, very honoured to be parade marshal. I’m in the Rodeo Sports Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and now to be parade marshal in your hometown where you were born 82 years ago is something special.”
The parade is presented in partnership between the Town of Innisfail and the Innisfail Rotary Club. The annual event helps kick off the Innisfail Pro Rodeo that runs June 15 to 17 at the Daines Ranch, just outside of town.
This year, the parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of 51st Avenue and 50th Street on June 16. After a short time on Main Street, it moves onto 50th Avenue to 40th Street before finishing up on 52nd Avenue.
This year’s parade already has 40 floats registered and will include antique and decorated cars, music bands, commercial and non-commercial floats, as well as those with clubs, organizations, churches and agriculture sectors.
Daines said the annual parade is an event that many in Innisfail and area look forward to every year.
“It must mean a lot to everybody,” he said. “It’s a huge honour to me and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Jack’s wife of 60 years, Audrey, said it's rather fitting for Jack to be the parade marshal this year, a man who played a key role in both the parade and rodeo over the years.
“The parade is a celebration for the town, along with the rodeo,” said Audrey. “A lot of people come from all over.
"It helps showcase the town,” she added, noting Jack’s work with charity auctions, the Innisfail Auction Mart and his history with the rodeo and the cattle industry in Innisfail.
“The Daines family has put Innisfail on the map,” she said. "He has always been a promoter of Innisfail and we’ve always been very supportive of the town as well. The town has been supportive to the farming community too.
“Jack loves Innisfail. It’s always been his home,” Audrey Daines concluded.
Registration for the parade is open until the end of the day on June 14. For more information or to register a float, visit www.innisfail.ca/parade