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Real Cattle Drive on Clematis Thursday at High Noon

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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