The first time we were at the stockyards, there was a parade not with longhorns but with cowboys escorting a sport car. There was someofficial presentation and speech being held outside the Visitors Centre.
On the weekends you can try your hand at hanging on riding a mechanical bull. The speed and rotation is adjusted depending on age/preference etc and there is plenty of padding on the ground should you be defeated and fall off. A minimal fee is charged.
This apparently is the world's only daily cattle drive. During Summer the crowds are heavy and of course its hot standing around waiting. But get a good place ext to the curb.. forget about standing on the road, you will be shoo'd back onto the pavement.
If you get there by 11.00am you will also see the Tarrantula pull into the stockyard station.
What is left of the old cattle pens are just behind the Stockyards Exchange Building with just a small amount of Longhorns now using them. The first pens were built in 1876 when the Texas and Pacific Railway arrived into the stockyards. The floors of the pens were paved with bricks. It took more than 10 million bricks to pave the 2,600 pens that were full to capacity when the stockyards were in full operation holding around 24,500 animals. Then pens extended for nearly a mile back then but were reduced from 80 acres to only 7 acres in later years. There is an elevated walkway which crosses over the cattle pens and from where you can get a all round view of the Stockyards however this is only available to those on tours from the Visitors Centre.
Fort Worth is a cow town. There are cattle drives through town twice a day - everyday, seven days a week, weather permitting.
Some people were upset that Dallas got the trail drive sculpture in Pioneer Plaze because they felt that Dallas was more of an oil town with more glitz. In any case, we'd been to see the longhorn sculptures in Frisco (stampede) and the one in Dallas, so we drove over to Fort Worth to see the 'in the flesh' recreation.
For this picture, I was across the street from the Visitor's Center near the Livestock Exchange. Bob and our daughter and granddaughter were on the other side of the street from me. The "Swift" part of the Armour Swift sign near the free parking lot is in the background.
11:30 a.m. ~ The Cattle Drive begins at the far east end of Exchange Avenue. Traveling west past the Stockyards Visitor's Center and Livestock Exchange Building , 131 E. Exchange, the cattle drive ends at Cowtown Coliseum.
4:00 p.m. ~ The Herd is driven back to the pens behind the Livestock Exchange Building.
Drives are not held on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day.
Best places to observe
* Any Stockyards Station restaurant with outdoor seating
* In front of the Stockyards Visitors Center
* In front of the Livestock Exchange Building
* On the free observation deck of the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze. The deck is located on the northeast side of the Livestock Exchange Building, behind the parking lot.
Cowtown Coliseum sits right in the heart of the Stockyards and has a rich history steeped in Rodeo and the West. In 1986 the Coliseum was totally refurbished and brought up to modern day standards with heating and air conditioning as well as production lighting and sound.
There was nothing happening when we were there, still the interior had that decidedly 'cow-y' smell about it. There is a great little gift shop on the front of the Coliseum.
Fort Worth Stockyards is in the National Historical District. The livestock industry began to develop here in the 1880s and there were sheep, cattle, hog pens and horse and mule barns. The original barns were burned in 1911 and were replaced with concrete and steel buildings.
You can really feel the old west recaptured all along Exchange Avenue. In 1976 the area was renovated with western-style stores and restaurants and is now one of the most famous and fun historical sites in Texas. There are many activities within this area of 'cowtown'.
For just a couple of dollars during the weekend hours you can hoist yourself upon the back of one of these lovely creatures and have your photo taken by your own camera. The cowboys are there to give you a boost and get you down safely. The longhorns are a pretty broad creature so forget the mini skirt.
Go see a longhorn roundup at the stockyards!
The only daily cattle drive in the world! Each day at 11:30amthe Herd is driven from the Stockyards to the West Fork of Trinity River, then they return in the afternoon at 4pm. The longhorns weigh up to a ton and have horn spans of 6 feet!
This historic district is full of restaurants and shops along with museums and other attractions. Twice a day they renact cattle drives here.
For those who have the time, and prefer to view attractions such as this with a guide, tours are available. You can indeed learn a lot from knowledgable guides such as this.
As you come out of the Stockyards Visitors Centre on Exchange Street, you will see this sign up above.....
Each one of the longhorns apparently has a name which is usually based on some defining feature. They Fort Worth Herd are well behaved and you get the feeling that all this is really just boring them
These cowboys were just moseying around after the parade of the car and presentation. I can't remember what it was all about - I was too busy checking out those holsters:-))
The Stockyards in Fort Worth are a lot of fun to visit. Lots of things to do and see in this Old West town!