ALBERTA

Chris Hadfield Calgary Stampede's Parade Marshal: Canadian Astronaut Accepts Invite From Cowtown

05/09/2013 06:01 EDT | Updated 05/09/2013 06:58 EDT

It was a tweet that went where no Calgary Stampede tweet had gone before, as the festival that promotes old-fashioned western values made effective use of modern technology, to invite astronaut Chris Hadfield to be this year's parade marshal.

And when the social media-savvy Canadian commander of the International Space Station (ISS) responded on Thursday afternoon, he did so with an out-of-this world yes.

Hadfield, a former fighter and test pilot, with nearly as many degrees as he has months in space, is the first Canadian astronaut to be in charge of the ISS.

During his time there, he has become a Canadian pop culture icon and media darling, thanks to his constant and clever use of Twitter, and his many televised teleconferences from space with everyone from William Shatner, to school kids across the country.

Now, the Calgary Stampede board can't wait to get the country's newest celebrity into a cowboy hat.

"We really are just thrilled," Stampede spokesman Doug Fraser told The Huffington Post Alberta.

"Commander Hadfield is a true Canadian hero. He has close to 750,000 followers on Twitter and that's an indication of how popular the man is and how respected he is.

"I know the Canadians and the Calgarians who will line the parade route will certainly give him a hero's welcome."

Fraser said Hadfield knew the invite was coming, as the Stampede had reached out to Hadfield's team beforehand, but to send out the official invite via Twitter and then to get his response from space on Thursday was none-the-less thrilling.

"The answer was still all up to him and he agreed... and he sent down his confirmation on Twitter," said Fraser.

Although the Stampede has often been criticized for their picks for parade marshals, there are some illustrious names that have taken on the role, such as Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Prince Charles and Christopher Reeve.

Hadfield previously took on the role of parade marshal in 2001.

Also on HuffPost

Chris Hadfield's Best Photos From Space