Real Cattle Drive on Clematis Thursday at High Noon

Florida cattle
Florida cattle

Cattle and the cowboys who herd them aren't your everyday downtown sight, but on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, a herd (abeit a small one) will be tromped down the middle of the road at noon Thursday.

The Florida Cattlemen's Association is calling attention to Florida's history of cattle ranching with a "Cowboy's on the Waterfront" event, starting with a cattle drive Thursday down Clematis Street. It coincides with a photo exhibit, "Florida Cowboys: Keepers of the Last Frontier" at the Lake Pavilion on the waterfront along Flagler Drive.

Saturday, a cowboy cooking exhibition will be part of Saturday's GreenMarket on the greens near the pavilion. Expect beans, cornbread, and probably a beef-based chili.

Unbeknowst to many coastal dwellers, Florida is a huge cattle state, beginning in the days of Ponce DeLeon, who brought Spanish breeds here. It now boasts six of the country's largest ranches, including several "natural" ranches.

More trivia: Among Florida cattle ranchers are the Mormon Church, Seminole Indians and the John D. MacArthur Foundation.

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