By Jason Allen

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth Herd returns to the Stockyards for the holiday weekend, although they won’t be driving down Exchange Avenue just yet.

Instead, the steers will stay in their pen while they play a role in the Herd Experience, a short show billed as educational entertainment about the history of cattle drives in the region.

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Reservations will be required for the Friday through Sunday presentations, so people can stay a longhorn’s distance from each other on an observation platform.

The return of the herd is seen as key to drawing people back to the Stockyards, where at least two new businesses plan to open this weekend in the redeveloped Mule Alley, despite the expectation of smaller than normal holiday crowds.

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“Launching this herd experience is a way to promote to people you can still come visit, in a safe way, and know that we’re still here,” said Kristin Jaworksi, the trail boss of the Herd.

There are some signs of people beginning to return, with hotel occupancy up slightly in the last week, and online searches for hotels up 50-percent over last month, according to Visit Fort Worth.

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The Herd Experience will run at the top of the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday and on holidays, including Memorial Day. Space is limited to 20 people, and can be reserved by texting HERD2020 to the number 41444.