In our hearts, Denver will always be a cowtown: not as a spot where boots are frequently stepping into bullshit, but as a frontier of eternal, endless opportunity. And while some short-sighted boosters might prefer to push this city as a major metropolis with mountains, today theyll all be kicking up their cowboy-booted heels at the National Western Stock Show Parade, which marks the start of a two-week celebration of this city as the ultimate cowtown. The parade which will fill 17th Street with floats, trick ropers, authentic wranglers, true dudes and even Bill Ritter, taking his last turn on horseback as governor is a few days early this year, the better to get a jump on the Stock Show itself, the 105th incarnation of the annual event, which starts Saturday, January 8, and runs through Sunday, January 23.
The parade will start today at noon at Union Station, then meander up 17th to the Wells Fargo Building, the site of the National Western Barbecue, which starts cooking at 11:30 a.m. and includes Western music and a VIP Western fashion show. That entertainment is free; tickets to the barbecue, which benefits the 4-H International Youth group, are $9 and available at the door.