Fort Worth Herd Celebrates 20 Years of Cattle Drives

In the Fort Worth Stockyards, the Old West comes to life every day. It's a blending of modern conveniences with Texas history.

While just behind the livestock exchange building, Texas Longhorns practice for their 11:30 a.m. cattle drive.

"The reason why they're so calm is their environment is very low stress and so that's how we are able to drive them down the street.” said Kristin Jaworski, the Herd Trail Boss. “There's a method to all of it."

Jaworski said each year, The Herd’s programming teaches 17,000 students about cowboys’ life on the Chisholm trail, which was used to drive cattle from ranches in Texas to railheads in Kansas.

For the last 20 years, that history has been honored with twice-daily cattle drives down Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District.

"Fort Worth is cowboys and culture and there's nothing much more Texas than Long Horn Cattle," said Betsy Price, Fort Worth Mayor.

According to Visit Fort Worth, "9 million spectators have watched 14,148 cattle drives," during the twice-daily event over the last 20 years.

"You're going to see the cattle walk down at a very slow pace because that's the way it actually occurred 150 years ago," said a man with a megaphone to onlookers gathering along the sidewalks before the drive started.

Among the crowd, is the family of Chee Nguyen, who recently graduated from Texas Christian University. Her parents are visiting from Vietnam, and she brought them to the Stockyards.

"Because my parents, they want to explore the history of each place where they come to visit," Nguyen said.

Visiting from Washington, DC, is Parma Krishnan, who is in town to celebrate a friend’s graduation from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Krishnan agreed the herd lived up to the hype. "For us it was amazing. We've never seen anything like this," Krishnan said.

The Fort Worth Herd is a tradition that's appreciated by tourists, students, and lovers of cowboy history. It’s a symbol of the city’ past that will continue long into its future.

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