FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The 117th Fort Worth Stock Show opens today and the front office is hoping to beat last year’s record-setting attendance. In 2012, more than 1.1 million people passed through the turnstiles.

The Stock Show, held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, will run for 23 days and in addition to the rodeo includes the exhibition and auction of world-class livestock, family oriented activities, a carnival/midway, live music, food and shopping.

After Friday’s AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge and “Best of the West” Invitational Ranch Rodeo, weekend activities kick off with The All Western Stock Show Parade.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday in downtown Fort Worth. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the procession and Stock Show Publicity Manager Shanna Weaver detailed how the walkers, horses and wagons will travel. “The parade route starts at the Tarrant County Courthouse and will proceed south on Commerce Street, down to 9th [Street], and then back up Houston Street and it will end [back] at the Tarrant County Courthouse.”

For the first time ever, reserved seats were sold along the parade route, but Weaver assured there will be plenty of room for others to “mill around” and line the streets of Cowtown for prime parade views. “We typically see about 100,000 folks come out. It’s one of the funnest (sic) parades of the year, so we encourage everybody to come out. The weather’s gonna be fantastic.”

In addition to the new $22.5 million multipurpose equestrian center, there have been a wealth of renovations and upgrades at and around the Stock Show. In addition to two new entrance gates, there is a new fully lit parking lot on the south side of the Will Rogers Memorial Center, with trolleys to take visitors back and forth.

The Stock Show parade, held each year on the first Saturday of the Show, beings a special weekend for the top ranches in the Southwest. “This is Ranching Heritage Weekend. It kind of celebrates our western heritage and our ranching roots,” Weaver explained. “We’ll be running at full capacity this weekend. It’ll be exciting.”

Performances during the Stock Show include: the Cowboys of Color Rodeo, Best of Mexico Celebración and Bulls’ Night Out PRCA Extreme Bull Riding.
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo runs through February 9. Click here to find more about tickets, schedules and events, parking and more.

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