By Yesenia Camacho
“It’s interesting seeing cattle walking in streets where they once used to. Especially since the cattle union stock yards I used to visit are now closed,” said Barbara Aguilar, one of thousands of spectators who attended the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo’s Houston Street Two-Step. The annual parade and stroll kicks off rodeo season in style.
San Antonio police officers barricaded traffic on both sides of Houston Street from I-35 down to Alamo Plaza to prepare for the two-step, so-called because the event happens in two phases: “The Houston Street Two-Step features the Cattle Drive parade as the first-step and a Houston Street Stroll as the second step…cowboys will guide an impressive herd of Texas Longhorns down Houston Street, where only a trail existed 150 years ago.”
Texas longhorn cattle drive followers lined up against the orange blockades in order to secure a better view of the parade. About 40 Longhorn cattle paraded down the street to bring history back to life. The Houston Street Stroll included horses pulling militia wagons and men on horse-back, including a Horse Cavalry Detachment from Fort Hood.
Bagpipers followed the route in multicolored kilts, a Prince Charles-like jacket and a vest with white knee high socks. Rodeo clowns took pictures of the audience.
On the corner of Houston and Jefferson Streets, souvenirs were for sale such as light brown sleeveless jackets, T-shirts, leather keys chains, shot glass, pins, caps and mugs, all bearing the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo logo.
Parade vendor Chrissy Sandoval said she was excited about the event.
“The turnout is great! It is showing San Antonio the way some people’s lives are,” Sandoval said.
The family-friendly event gave children lots of opportunity to play along Houston and Jefferson Streets. Stick horse races, a cactus ring toss, a snake round-up and the Texas plinko were available for younsters.
Palm Restaurant, located on the intersection of Houston and Navarro Streets, held an outdoor sale offering beer, prime steak sliders and chicken skewers.
“The parade was great,” said Palm Restaurant server David England. “I think we were the only people selling food out on the street. We had a line going all the way down to the street. We were a hit.”