Cattle drive draws excited crowd to Lincoln Avenue

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— More than 150 head of cattle and twice as many cowboys flooded the streets of downtown Steamboat yesterday to kick off the Centennial Cowboy Roundup Days with a cattle drive.

The streets were lined with onlookers as the herd of cattle, led by an old-fashioned stagecoach, quickly made its way from the Romick Rodeo Grounds through Lincoln Avenue to the new Transit Center.

The cattle, supplied by rancher Bill May, were a big hit to many who had never seen a cattle drive before.

"This is our very first time" said Pat Aho from Arizona. "It was fast, but neat."

Karen Srednicki from Chicago sat expectantly with her children as the cattle approached.

"It's definitely different from Chicago. It's really good for the kids. They get to see something totally different this Fourth of July," Srednicki said. "It is also a taste of the true old-town Colorado."

It was not only tourists who enjoyed the event. Marie Aguire, a local, was very excited.

"It's a good local event. It has the characteristics of the area and is unique and unusual. Not every town can have a cattle drive down main street," Aguire said.

Local Bill Hutchinson said the cattle drive should become an annual event.

"This is real neat. I'd like to see this happen every year," Hutchinson said.

The cowboy participants in the drive not only enjoyed the drive but were happy to share a part of history with both locals and tourists.

"It's a real good thing to have people get a taste of the 'real West'. This is how we used to do it," Cookie Lockhart said.

Lockhart, a long-time local, laughed at ratio of cowboys to cattle.

"There wasn't much chance of them getting out," Lockhart joked. "It was more of a parade than a cattle drive."

The parade-like atmosphere brought young and old out for the event. Lincoln Avenue was packed with excited spectators. Many ran down the street trying to keep up with the cows.

Afterwards, F.M. Light and Sons was full of people buying cowboy hats, excited after the event.

Austin and Ian Anderson, 11 and 8, said the cattle drive was pretty cool.

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