The hit TV series and critics’ darling Yellowstone may have been shut-out of this year’s Emmy nominations, but its A-list star Kevin Costner, who plays the patriarch of the Dutton clan, found a whole lotta love waiting for him in Calgary.

Costner accepted an invite by the Calgary Stampede organization to marshal the parade on Friday, July 8. And there is plenty of photographic and video footage of the star riding down the city streets headlining the “greatest outdoor show on Earth.”

(Calgary Stampede Parade Twitter)

He spoke to a crowd before the parade saying he was just an “Imaginary cowboy… I realize how lucky I’ve been in my life, not many people get to save the girl, get to save the day, get to go after the bad guy and I sometimes feel when I’m doing it, I’m doing it for everybody.”

The call to take part in the parade came out of the blue and caught Costner by the surprise. “I wondered how my name ended up on the list, and I’m just glad that it did.” Costner is currently filming season five of Yellowstone but wanted to be part of the Stampede, so arranged to travel to Calgary for the event, adding, “city has been very good to me.”

Costner has filmed several movies in the area, and his band Modern West has played the city numerous times over the years, including this year’s Stampede.

Costner’s costar, Cole Hauser, who plays heartthrob cowboy Rip Wheeler, also made an appearance at the Stampede, kicking off the Cowboys Music Festival on July 9.

When asked about the continuing allure of the Old West in popular culture, Costner’s answer summed up what many of us feel whenever we saddle up to go on a trail ride. “No one is ever going to tire of running horses and rivers that don’t stop flowing, and mountains that don’t feel the need to move,” he says. “But I think there’s something romantic about the west, there’s something interesting about a man on a horse, and the only things he needs is what that horse can carry. There’s something unique about that relationship, and to somehow feel that free that you can just ride off into the horizon.” Amen to that.

Watch a video of his pre-parade speech: