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Cowboy Christmas Parade draws crowd to historic Stockyards City

The Cowboy Christmas Parade Saturday in Stockyards City gave spectators a glimpse of the city's past and a chance to see Santa.
BY NASREEN IQBAL niqbal@opubco.com Modified: December 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm •  Published: December 2, 2012
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Longhorns, horses, cowboys and Santa were just a few of the highlights featured Saturday in the Cowboy Christmas Parade in Stockyards City.

Spectators gathered on the pleasantly warm first day of December to watch as participants paraded through the streets of the historic section of Oklahoma City.

A herd of longhorns and horse riders led the parade to the delight of the crowd.

“I took a picture of it,” said Brian Vogeler, who came to the parade with his church youth group. “I was just amazed.”

Bree Schwarte, 22, who was there with friends after they participated in the National Reining Horse Association's Futurity competition in Oklahoma City, said the parade offered a glimpse at what life in Stockyards City once must have been like.

“I think it's kind of cool to see a blast from the past,” Schwarte said.

Parade Executive Director Cookie Hill said that was precisely organizers' intent.

“The parade is about the preservation of our history,” Hill said.

A look at the past

In 1910, Oklahoma's forefathers founded meatpacking plants in Stockyards City, then a cattle exchange two years later, Hill said.

“The Oklahoma national cattle exchange is the largest cattle market in the country, and it's right behind us,” said Hill, who was born and raised in Stockyards City. Cattle being ushered through the streets allowed parade spectators to imagine what it was like when herds of cattle were driven to market on hoof 102 years ago.

Hill said many of the shops and buildings in the city are just as old.

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