There's nothing quite like seeing a herd of longhorn cattle marching down Denver's streets.

We were standing "downwind," at Thursday's National Western Stock Show Parade, so we could smell the longhorn cattle before we ever saw them. As my grandpa, a lifelong rancher, would have said, "'Smells like money!" [embed][/embed] Starting at Union Station and traveling 15 blocks down 17th Street in downtown Denver, the annual Stock Show parade drew thousands of attendees who lined the street, creating a truly festive atmosphere. show parade Even Coloradans who consider themselves more "urban" enjoyed the parade, many showing up in cowboy boots and hats in celebration of Denver's rich cowtown heritage. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="30268,30251,30266"] Thunder, the Denver Broncos' live animal mascot, served as the parade's grand marshal. [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="30254,30255"]
There were all kinds of lovely and interesting characters in attendance! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="30260,30265,30261"] And the parade itself was an experience none of us will ever forget, beginning with a real-life cattle drive, complete with handsome cowboys! [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="30270,30269"] And here are some more scenes from the parade (please excuse the dark and blurry images; they're screen shots from the live-stream video I was taking!) ... [gallery type="rectangular" size="full" ids="30281,30282,30283,30284,30285"] And here's the question we've all been wanting answered: After hundreds of cattle, alpacas, and horses march down the downtown streets, what do they do to clean up the poop that's inevitably left behind? show parade Well, as it turns out, the parade ends with a fleet of street-sweeping vehicles specially equipped to clean it all up. And it's pretty darn effective! [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="30287,30288"] And one other thing we noticed? These people, standing atop the Union Station building, precariously hanging around the iconic sign and watching the events below. Earlier, during the parade itself, they were much closer -- scarily closer -- to the edge. Whether or not they were authorized to be up there, I have no clue! show parade So there you have it! Another Stock Show parade is in the books! Watch more live-stream footage below, and you might feel like you were actually there in the thick of it! [embed][/embed] The National Western Stock Show is off and running, January 6–21, so make sure you plan to attend this truly unique Colorado experience!

Planning to go to the Stock Show? We've got everything you need to know right here.