Hundreds line Chowchilla streets for 60th annual stampede

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The annual event that draws hundreds to Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla, and they got a warm welcome thanks to the sunshine. (KFSN)

Chowchilla honored their history Friday with the 60th annual stampede and there was an unexpected turnout.

The annual event draws hundreds to Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla, and they got a warm welcome thanks to the sunshine.

"Maybe it's a good omen," committee member Steve Branco said. "We dodged the rain this week, but two weeks ago we wouldn't have."

The event kicks off two weekends of steer roping and barrel racing and has switched off between March and April to avoid wet weather. However, that's how it all started, and Branco is following in his father's footsteps.

"When they first started, they couldn't afford to have the cattle driven to them," he said. "So, they had to drive the cattle to town, that's how it all started."

Rodeo royalty and law enforcement saddled up for the big event, taking cattle from country to city in style.

The Minarets equestrian team showed their school spirit while students of all ages watched in awe.

"It's a chance for the students to come out and see the community and be a part of the community and see the stampede," teacher Donna Gilstrap exclaimed.

The cattle drive down Robertson Boulevard started in 1958, and it's still going strong after 60 years. Organizers say it's become a way of life."

"For a little community it means quite a bit," Branco said. "If it's lasted this long, it's pretty much spoken for itself."
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