Cattle drive through Denver kicks off 107-year-old stock show

Wranglers on horseback herd a group of longhorn cattle through Denvers financial district, during the annual parade kicking off the National Western Stock Show, in Denver on Thursday. Enlarge photo

Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

Wranglers on horseback herd a group of longhorn cattle through Denvers financial district, during the annual parade kicking off the National Western Stock Show, in Denver on Thursday.

DENVER Denver is getting back in touch with its cow-town roots.

Longhorn cattle were driven through downtown accompanied by horses and wagons Thursday during the annual parade kicking off the National Western Stock Show.

Dubbed the Super Bowl of stock shows, the 16-day event features rodeos and events such as sheep-shearing and dog-agility contests. Thousands of livestock, including llamas and bison, pass through the grounds of the stock show, which draws ranchers from around the region.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock served as grand marshal in honor of his work to keep the 107-year-old event in the city.

Leaders had considered building new facilities away from the citys historic stockyards, which are now surrounded by homes and businesses, but now say the event is staying despite $100 million in maintenance needs.