A Little About My Hometown
No place ever stays the same. Experiences, people, and even natural events leave their mark on ever-changing cultures and landscapes.
My own hometown is no different. I grew up in the American state of Colorado, smack-dab in the middle of the United States.
Colorado’s semi-arid climate was not the most welcoming, but the rich veins of gold and silver in the foothills and Rocky Mountains drew thousands of miners looking to get rich.
Ranchers and farmers soon followed, and western culture become entrenched in our roots.
Capital City Denver
Today, our capital city of Denver is one of the fasted growing cities in America. Yet even with a population of almost three million, it still retains a small town feel.
Western culture mixes easily with vibrant companies leading the pack in space exploration, high-tech and energy. And those ranchers and farmers? Well, they’re still here and thriving.
Each January, Denver celebrates its western roots at the National Western Stock Show, a three-week event honoring the country’s Old West Heritage.
With more than 15,000 animals and hundreds of events from rodeo and livestock competitions to bull riding, the National Western Stock Show is a treasured local tradition.
Colorado cowboys compete with cowboys from Canada to Mexico and many of the states in between.
National Western Stock Show
I’ve loved going to the National Western Stock Show for as long as I can remember.
Even though the January weather was (and still is) always cold, my family would bundle up, pull on our cowboy boots and head to the stock show.
Today, I still love the smell of the animals, the thrill of the rodeo and feeling close to the many other Coloradans who cherish the event just like I do.
The annual event kicks off with a National Western Stock Show & Rodeo Parade.
Yesterday, like many others, I bundled up to watch the spectacle of a herd of Texas Longhorn being driven through Downtown Denver. Here are a few of my favorite photos.
While the Denver Metro Area is filled with urban neighborhoods and quiet suburbs, there are still pockets where people have horses, cattle and other animals.
A popular youth organization is “The Westernaires,” an equestrian youth organization for kids ages 9 to 19 who want to ride horses and participate in precision riding teams.
Those who don’t own a horse can rent one.
I grew up on one of those little farms near the city, with horses, chickens and cattle. I loved being in the Westernaires, and spent many weekends riding my horse, Mazie, in local parades, rodeos and competitions.
Sure, I was technically a city girl. But growing up near Denver, I still lived in the shadow of the Old West — and each year when the stock show comes to town, I get to experience that heritage once again.
Author Bio: Janna Graber is the managing editor at Go World Travel Magazine. A journalist, editor and producer, she has covered world travel for more than 40 publications, and is the author of three travel anthology books: A Pink Suitcase: 22 Tales of Women’s Travel, Chance Encounters: Travel Tales from Around the World and Adventures of a Lifetime. Read more of Janna Graber’s travel writing.