Steamboat Springs Organizers of the cattle drive to be held over the July 4 weekend have changed the event's route.
In an effort to make the cattle drive more authentic and to work around Triple Crown traffic, cattle will be driven from a ranch on Twentymile Road, up 13th Street, down Lincoln Avenue and down Fifth Street to the rodeo grounds.
The cattle drive is part of the 100th Annual Cowboy Round-Up Days and working cowboys will move 88 pair of cattle for more than two miles.
Two years ago a cattle drive on a Friday afternoon blocked traffic for hours and drew an angry public reaction. Traffic backed up for miles on U.S. Highway 40 as the bottleneck at 13th Street closed down and the cattle drive was delayed by more than an hour.
This year, organizers made significant changes by scheduling the event for 10 a.m. Sunday, which is expected to have less of an impact on traffic.
This year's route was to have started and finished at the rodeo grounds, making a loop with Fifth Street, Yampa Avenue, 11th Street, Lincoln Avenue and Fifth Street again.
The plan was changed to the route using Twentymile Road and 13th Street, largely so Fifth Street would not be shut down twice.
Bill Montag, who manages Soda Creek Western Mercantile, a major sponsor of the event, said 13th Street should not be shut down for more than a few minutes.
"We want to impact the town as little as possible," Montag said. "We like this way actually better. It won't have as much of an effect on the town."
That morning, Triple Crown will hold four championship final games at the Howelsen Hill fields, City Clerk Julie Jordan said, and traffic would be moving through Fifth Street to get to those games.
Jordan also told the City Council Tuesday night that the organizers wanted more of an authentic cattle drive instead of what they called a cattle parade, which took the cows in a loop up Yampa Avenue and down Lincoln Avenue.
"This is the way the town use to be," Montag said. "If you came back in the 1950s or 1960s, there were cattle all over this place. As a person driving through, you wouldn't think anything of it."
The 176 cows and calves are coming from the Iacovetto's Saddle Back Ranch in South Routt.
The two-mile stretch of Twentymile Road will not be shut down, as vehicles will be able to pass through the cattle drive, Montag said.
The ranchers expect to start driving the cattle from Scott Flower's Wolf Run Ranch at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
The cows should begin coming down Lincoln Avenue around 10 a.m.