Gov. Brownback, Mayor Brewer will saddle up for cattle driveBY HURST LAVIANA
The Wichita Eagle
The mayor of Wichita and governor of Kansas are scheduled to be on horseback Saturday as they lead a herd of longhorn cattle through the streets of Wichita.
"Here's the way it looks like it's going to shake out right now," said Todd Domer, a spokesman for the Kansas Livestock Association, which is bringing the cattle to town.
Gov. Sam Brownback and Mayor Carl Brewer will be among the celebrities who, if weather permits, will be on horses as they lead 30 head of cattle from the Chain Ranch of Oklahoma.
"The Chain Ranch crew will be right behind them, followed by the cattle all in one bunch," Domer said. "Then there'll be more members of the Chain Ranch crew bringing up the rear."
The Kansas Livestock Association and the longhorns make up one of more than 120 entries expected to be in the Kansas Sunflower Parade on Saturday as the state celebrates its 150th anniversary at the Kansas 150 Festival.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Central and Main, then proceed south to Douglas and west to Century II.
Several downtown streets will be closed beginning at 8 a.m.: Main from 11th to Douglas; Douglas from Main to McLean Boulevard; McLean from Lewis to Second Street.
An encampment of informational, shopping and food booths will be open outside Century II until 2:30 p.m., when the "Kansas: Home on the Range" concert begins inside Convention Hall. The concert will highlight the history of Kansas through video, song and poetry.
Some of the booths at the festival will be staffed by representatives of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, the Kansas Historical Society, the Society of Public Historians and the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.
Parade entries include the National Park Service, the Drovers of Dodge City, the Kansas Museum of Military History, the Wichita State University cheer squad and Wu Shock, the Wichita State rowing team, Chuckles the Clown and several marching bands.
In the event of rain, some of the celebrity horsemen will probably ride inside a wagon. Riding a horse on wet pavement, Domer said, can get tricky.
The cattle that will be in Wichita have led parades in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Greeley, Colo., and have been used in promotional events as far north as Detroit, Domer said.
"These are steers, and they weigh 1,400 to 1,600 pounds apiece," he said. "They probably have horn spans, from tip to tip, of six to seven feet."
He said he doesn't expect the parade to bear any resemblance to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
"The way I understand it, these longhorns are not going to just break and run," he said. "They're pretty easily regulated by the outriders."Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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