The Fort Worth Herd's 20 steers strode down East Exchange Avenue in the historic Stockyards district on Friday morning as hundreds of sightseers looked on in wonder. Twenty steers for 20 years.
Friday's cattle drive marked 20 years of Fort Worth's top tourist attraction, the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive.
In celebration of the occasion, city leaders and community members came together to celebrate the “Driving 20 Steers for 20 Years” event, where past and present programs and personnel of the cattle drives were recognized and honored.
The Fort Worth Herd is a part of Visit Fort Worth, the nonprofit organization that took over the attraction's operation from the city.
Since the first cattle drive started in 1999, the Fort Worth Herd has become a top destination for tourists visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
"People come to Fort Worth because they want to come to Texas," Mayor Betsy Price said. "And we are the Texas-most city in Texas, without a doubt."
More than 9.4 million spectators visit the area to watch the Fort Worth Herd every year.
The Fort Worth Herd contributes to the local tourism industry by creating $2.6 billion in economic impact and supporting about 24,000 jobs, as per the city's estimates.
"The Herd is a symbol of our past," Price said. "It's also a symbol that this is where Fort Worth was founded, where the Wall Street of the West started; where that hard work ethic, that friendly cowboy-up attitude that the drovers know all too well still remains, is still engraved."
The mayor presented a proclamation — signed by her office and the city council — to the Fort Worth Herd that commemorated its contribution in promoting Texas tourism in Fort Worth.
The Fort Worth Herd has conducted `14,148 cattle drives in the last two decades.
The Fort Worth Herd was created as a part of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration in June 1999. Today, it has become a city tradition.
"I am said that Downtown is the heart of the City of Fort Worth, but the Stockyard is the soul of the City of Fort Worth," said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth. "This is where we started, this is where we became a city of commerce and it is the cattle industry that put us in the path."
The Fort Worth Herd was created as a part of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration. Now, it has become a city tradition.
"This experience [Fort Worth Herd] in our community is what differentiates us to visitors from all around the world," Jameson said. "It makes us unique."
Kristin Jaworski, director of the Fort Worth Herd, manages all the day-to-day activities of running the twice-daily Texas Longhorn cattle drive. She unveiled a new logo, redesigned logo for the Fort Worth Herd on Friday.
The new logo portrays a silhouette of two horse riders in cowboy hats and several Texas Longhorns.
Jaworski said she the Texas Longhorn is a Texas icon and people come to the city to see them.
"We preserve the memory of the trail drivers," Jaworski said. "The drovers from 1999 to present have rode all of those horses, drove the cattle and been ambassadors for the city."