My husband and I met my daughter in Denver, Colorado this past Thursday to have a quick lunch with her, and then we joined a queue along 17th Street to wait for the National Western Stock Show Parade to begin. This iconic western style parade takes place in downtown Denver every year and is the official beginning of the stock show, which is taking place this year from January 10th through the 25th, 2015. The parade begins at Union Station and travels 15 blocks across the city, ending by the Brown Palace Hotel. You can see Union Station in the distance, with Mount Evans looming high above in the distance, from our position near the end of the parade route. (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge if clicked on)
As we waited for the parade to begin I had to smile at this eager group of schoolchildren sitting on the curb across the street from us.
Soon, we saw the flashing lights of the parade start coming closer!
This is the 109th year of the National Western Stock Show, Rodeo and Horse Show. held at Denver's Western Complex. Last year there was a record breaking 640,022 people that attended the 16 days event! The National Western Stock Show typically features about 16,000 various livestock and millions to billions worth of deals are made between livestock producers and corporate buyers.
It certainly is a thrill to see a herd of long horned cattle walking down the street!
I know Beverly, of the How Sweet the Sound blog, will like the pink scarf that one of the cowgirls is wearing!
The cattle herd was pretty large, but under control by many cowboys and cowgirls on horseback as they moved along.
The Denver Sheriff color-guard.
Denver Sheriffs on horseback.
Burlington Cougars HS band
Basketball legend, and former Nugget, Chauncey Billups, who graduated from the University of Colorado, served as the parade's Grand Marshall.
Denver businessman and philanthropist, Philip K Anschutz, (seen in the brown hat) was named "Ambassador of the West." He has contributed much to the city of Denver, and this was a fitting honor for him.
There were many varied things to see as the parade passed by., including clowns and the Colorado State mascot ram....
...and many rodeo groups...
The state flag of Colorado can be seen in the middle of the three flags held by these pretty ladies.
Equestrian schools were represented....
...as well as more rodeo stars...
"Pikes Peak or Bust" -- this was the motto of many a gold rush era miner. Glad this rodeo group is keeping it alive!
There were many tractors in the parade...from modern to vintage!
The Grizzly Rose featured the band Buckstein, and they sang a few of their popular country western songs as their float traveled the parade route.
At the end of the parade the Denver street sweepers performed a much needed job of cleaning the street, and as you can see the city traffic soon resumed their use of the street.
As we were leaving we saw that in front of the Wells Fargo Center there was a Texas long horned steer on display, and brave parade goers could sit on its back for a photo opportunity. Neither my husband nor I were brave enough to do that, but many others did! Just look at the long horns on this steer!
We also peeked into the Brown Palace Hotel lobby, as we heard that it is a tradition that a prize winning steer would be on display in the hotel lobby during the stock show dates. but he wasn't in place as yet. It was nice to see that some of the holiday decoration were still on display in the hotel's opulent lobby. I celebrated a very special birthday in this hotel a couple years ago--click here to read that post and see the formal tea we enjoyed. Built in 1892, it is one of the oldest hotels in Colorado.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the parade through my camera's lens! It really is such a fun Denver tradition and part of its Western history. We already bought our tickets to one of the stock show rodeos----as they say out here in Colorado---Yee Haw!!
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