San Antonio Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive: The Colorful Old West
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About the parade
To begin, the Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive in San Antonio is an annual event. 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!
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.
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.
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 Unique Parade Like None Other
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 Riverwalk 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.
Western Heritage Weekend 2022: 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 Stampede 5K run/walk before the parade (Saturday, February 5th 9:30-11:00 AM), as well as a Wrangler Breakfast (authentic chuckwagon breakfast, biscuits and gravy, and vendor booths) at Santa Rosa St. between Houston and Commerce Streets (Saturday, February 5, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon). Plus, a Vaquero Cook-Off and Concert will feature stars of Tex Mex cuisine like chili con carne, carne guisada, charro/borracho beans, and menudo (Saturday, February 5, 2022 from 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM, free to the public, after the parade).
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.
San Antonio Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive FAQs
When is the San Antonio Western Heritage Parade & Cattle Drive?
Date: Saturday, February 5th, 2022 at 11:00 AM.
What is the parade route of the Western Heritage Parade in San Antonio?
Parade starts at I-35/Houston St., and initially follows Houston St., then makes a construction detour north to W. Travis St. between Santa Rosa St. and Flores St). Parade route then turns back down onto Houston St. and continues on to the parade end at the Alamo.