San Antonio Western Heritage Parade & Cattle Drive

San Antonio Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive: The Colorful Old West

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Two men in frontier soldier dress drive a team of brown horses pulling a blue covered wagon like those in Old Western movies

About the parade

To begin, the Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive in San Antonio is an annual event that pays tribute to the Old West. It marks the kick-off of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

Definitely, this one of the best of the many free fun things to do in San Antonio. The parade is a celebration of the rich historical legacy of the state of Texas and the Old West. As part of this unique event, drovers usher a herd of Texas Longhorn cattle through the city, just like the great cattle drives of ages past. Git along, little dogies!

 

 

Cowboys dressed in leather and a cowgirl dressed in black riding on Texas longhorn steers Cowhands riding Texas Longhorn steers. Picture taken across from the Alamo in front of the Emily Morgan Hotel

 

Western Heritage Parade San Antonio: Parade Route

The parade route winds for a mile and a half through the heart of downtown San Antonio. It begins under I-35 near Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, mostly following Houston Street (with short construction detours some years). This year the parade route ends at the Alamo.

 

African American Buffalo Soldier dressed in blue uniform, black hat, and yellow gloves and kerchief, riding a white horse

 

US border patrol officers dressed in green uniforms, cream-colored cowboy hats, and leather chaps, mounted on horseback

 

What Will You See in the Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive?

This San Antonio parade is a grand procession of humanity and beasts. It all starts with a stampede of steers…a cavalcade of cattle leading the lineup.

Buxom barmaids in bustiers blaze a trail down the boulevard in a wooden-wheeled wagon.

Escaramuzas in elaborate embroidered skirts wend their way sidesaddle through the center of this old bastion of the Spanish Empire, Mexican Republic, and American frontier.

Lassoers languidly launch lariats as they lope down the lane.

stampede of Texas longhorn cattle in San Antonio's Old West parade

Two women in Old West dresses chat under a tent while preparing food

 

Thomas Jefferson High School Lassos dance team marching in front of the alamo in San Antonio

 

Glorious Crowns

For sure, if the signature of the Fiesta® San Antonio Battle of Flowers® Parade is its famous footwear (“show us your shoes!”), then it might be fair to say that a hallmark of the Western Heritage Parade is the headwear.

As a result, you will see every form of headgear imaginable: horns, manes, ten gallon hats, sombreros, bowlers, rhinestone crowns, headdresses, glengarries, and tam o’shanters.

 

A cowgirl dressed in a black shirt, black cowboy hat, green neckerchief, and white chaps riding a longhorn steer

A Unique Old West Parade Like None Other

Admittedly, other Texas Western heritage parades exist, such as the Fort Worth All Western Parade and the Houston Downtown Rodeo Parade.

However, no other city can boast what San Antonio can: the very ALAMO right along the parade route!

Certainly, if you are staying in the one of the hotels near the Alamo or the River Walk at this time of year, it would be wonderfully memorable to stroll over to Alamo Plaza to enjoy this colorful, free San Antonio rodeo parade.

 

Montage of a sheriff from the Old West with a large moustache, cowboy hat, and red bandana, as well as a bronze statue of Davy Crockett at the Alamo
A sheriff of the Old Western Frontier and statue of Davy Crockett at the Alamo

Western Heritage Weekend 2024: Celebrating the Old West

The Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive is part of a Western Heritage Weekend that features a number of events in downtown San Antonio. These include: a Kick-off event at Market Square (vendors, music, and activities) on February 2, 2024 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, a Stampede 5K run/walk before the parade, starting and ending at Milam Park  (500 W Commerce St., between Houston and Commerce Streets at Santa Rosa St.) on Saturday, February 3, 2024 9:30-11:00 AM, as well as a Rodeo Wrangler Breakfast (authentic chuckwagon breakfast, biscuits and gravy, and vendor booths) at Milam Park on Saturday, February 3, 2024, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Plus, a Vaquero Cook-Off and Concert at Market Square will feature stars of Tex Mex cuisine like chili con carne, carne guisada, charro/borracho beans, menudo, and arroz com pollo (Saturday, February 3, 2024.  7:00- 10:00 AM setup; 1:15 – 8 PM judging;  8:00 PM awards ceremony; 1:00- 10:00 PM music festival).  Moreover, the fun will continue on February 4, 2024 with Family Day at Market Square from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm with food vendors, activities, and live music. Events free to the public!

So in conclusion, take advantage and enjoy all the fun and colorful cultural legacy of Texas and the Old West! Get all the details about Western Heritage Weekend here.

 

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A brown wooden wagon from the pioneer days flying a United States flag and a white Gonzales Come and Take It flag

 

 

Two brown longhorn steers and a flock of white sheep and lambs standing together in a group in downtown San Antonio at the Old West themed parade

 

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San Antonio Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive FAQs

When is the San Antonio Western Heritage Parade & Cattle Drive?

Date: Saturday, February 3rd, 2024.
10:50 AM to 12 PM

What is the parade route of the Western Heritage Parade in San Antonio?

Parade starts at I-35 andHouston St., and will continue down Houston St. to end on Avenue E at the Alamo.