Annual RNCFR Cattle Drive Returns to Historic Streets of Kissimmee
The annual RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo Cattle Drive blends past with future through the historic streets of Downtown Kissimmee. Taking place April 3, the 3rd annual Cattle Drive kicks off the festivities of the 2017 RNCFR.
In partnership with Spirit of the Swamp, City of Kissimmee and Osceola County and Photography by Skip Stowers, competitors in the RNCFR, Osceola County dignitaries and real life Florida cattlemen will drive approximately 60 cattle down Broadway, the main thoroughfare in Kissimmee, led by this year’s Trail Boss, former Osceola County Sheriff Bob Hansell. Hansell served more than 40 years with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office prior to retiring earlier this year.
The drive brings back the days when Kissimmee was the “Cow Capital of Florida” and stray cattle were left penned by the Courthouse Square until their rightful owners came to claim them. By the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, there already were cattle ranches in Florida, with thousands of head of cattle from Tallahassee to Kissimmee. Florida Cowhunters, or “Cracker Cowboys”, were made famous by Frederic Remington while on assignment for a magazine in 1895.
“This event is a great way to kick off a week of championship rodeo events and also ties directly to Osceola County’s history in agriculture and the fact that we are still a leader in cattle operations with the two of the largest operations in the country located here. I hope that members of the public take this unique opportunity to watch some real cowboys move cattle through downtown Kissimmee,” said Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington.
Non-cowboys are encouraged to watch the fun from along Broadway and enjoy an after party on Dakin Avenue at 3 Sisters Speakeasy. The unloading of the cattle will begin at 3 p.m. on Courthouse Lawn and riders will begin the Cattle Drive at 4 p.m. from Emmett Street to Dakin Avenue on Broadway. The Cattle Drive will be followed by live music, dancing, refreshments and more. The event is open to the public.
The RNCFR takes place at Osceola Heritage Park on April 6-9 and tickets range in price from $10 to $25 for single event tickets depending on the performance. Kids 12 and under are free. Parking for the RNCFR is free this year. Tickets for the entire series are $85. For more on tickets: Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com and the Silver Spurs Arena Box Office. Groups will receive $3 off per ticket with a group of 10 or more, and series packages also are available by calling 321-697-3321.
For complete information about the rodeo, visit RNCFR.com. For regular updates, photos, news and more, follow the RNCFR on Facebook at Facebook.com/Rncfr, on Twitter at Twitter.com/RNCFR and Instagram at @RncfrKissimmee.
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