A charro swings his rope as his faithful horse reacts. Photo by Scott Ball.
A charro swings his rope as his faithful horse reacts. Photo by Scott Ball.

Cowboys, cowgirls, cows, clowns, charros, and chuckwagons were just some of the key ingredients to the official 2016 San Antonio Rodeo kickoff Saturday morning.  The 9th Annual Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive is a unique celebration and definitely a proper way to start things off.  What looked like rain yesterday turned out to be sunshine and perfect hoof-stomping weather for more than 80 head of cattle (mostly Longhorns) that filled downtown Houston Street.

This is the same street that hosts the historic Majestic Theatre, and major cultural events like the San Antonio Cocktail Conference and Chalk It Up, but this event stands out in a pure country kind of way.  Special solo performances from Uvalde’s Sahawe Dancers and College Station’s Texas A&M Aggie Wranglers were a great way to pass the time as cattle were assembled in a temporary stable formed underneath Interstate 10 near Milam Park.  I personally am a big fan of the sheep herding dogs. Surrounded by every the distraction in the world, they still do their job and keep the sheep in a tight circular bunch in perfect formation.  The cattle drive, seemingly smaller this year, is still a thrill to watch.  Where else in this country can you see the beautiful burnt orange animals pass by in our city’s most urban environment.  Every San Antonian should experience this at least once.

This year’s rodeo is sure to be the best yet– this will the Rivard Report’s first year covering standout events and stories and we are looking forward to providing rich content with a unique approach to one of our city’s favorite events.

Related Stories:

Let’s Rodeo, San Antonio: Downtown Cattle Drive Set for Saturday

Photo Gallery: Let’s Rodeo, San Antonio!

Hundreds of Cattle Downtown: It Must be Rodeo Time

This Ain’t My First (Stock Show and) Rodeo

Gallery: Rodeo Valentine from Corey Leamon

Scott Ball is San Antonio Report's photo editor and grew up in San Antonio.