Downtown Denver parade kicks off 2012 National Western Stock Show | TheFencePost.com

Downtown Denver parade kicks off 2012 National Western Stock Show

It's official - the 106th edition of the National Western Stock Show is under way for 16 days of western fun and excitement.

It was a great day for a parade as the 106th National Western Stock Show got underway. Brilliant sunshine, 70 degrees, and no wind or snow was about as far from typical “Stock Show weather” as you can get. Huge crowds took advantage of the great weather to line both sides of the 14 block parade route on 17th Street from its starting point at Union Station.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock had declared the day to be “Dress Western Day” to mark the start of the National Western Stock Show and to remember Denver’s cowtown roots. “The Stock Show is responsible for over 60,000 people coming to Colorado over this celebration. Over 8 million dollars will be infused into our economy as a result of these next couple of weeks.” said Mayor Hancock before he climbed aboard a restored 1920s fire truck from Blackhawk, Colo.

“It is a huge cultural icon – 106 years that we have been doing this.” Mayor Hancock continued, “It’s very important to the fabric of our state. I’m excited about what is about to happen here and I’m looking forward to everyone coming to Denver and enjoying it.”

There was plenty to enjoy in the parade. Gary Lake brought some of his Longhorn cattle herd and they were kept in check by cowboys from the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA). There was plenty of rodeo royalty hand including Cassidy Cabot, Miss Rodeo Colorado for 2012; Miss Rodeo America, Mackenzie Carr; Sadie Wardner, Miss Rodeo North Dakota: Madelaine Mills, National Little Britches Rodeo Queen; and Rodeo Queens and their attendants from all over the state of Colorado.

Former Denver Mayor Frederico Pena, led the parade as the Grand Marshal. “It’s a great honor to be the Parade Marshal.” said Pena, “I’m very supportive of the Stock Show. It has been part of our history for 106 years. It’s part of the heart and sole of Denver and we want to keep it.”

Besides the dignitaries there were the Westernaires precision riding team from Golden, Colo.; the Greeley Stampede Riders; antique fire trucks and tractors; and covered wagons. There was even a flatbed from BullCorp that featured a cowboy riding a mechanical, bucking bull, complete with a rodeo clown.

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There were over 50 entries in the parade to get people excited and ready for the first weekend of the 106th National Western Stock Show. Come on down and see everything the National Western has to offer the whole family before “Stock Show weather” returns.