FORT WORTH -- The Fort Worth Stock Show officially began Friday, but the traditional opening event is this morning.The All Western Parade begins at 11 a.m. today in downtown Fort Worth, featuring almost 200 entries, including buggies, surreys, stagecoaches, chuck wagons, marching bands and decked-out riding clubs.Dramatic riding styles are only part of what makes Fort Worth's parade stand out."Our parade is the largest all-Western parade," said Philip Schutts, parade committee chairman. "We have no motorized vehicles. There are riding groups and wagons pulled by horses, mules and donkeys, mostly. You won't see llamas, camels or elephants, but you might see a longhorn being ridden or yoked to a wagon."There will also be a pair of wagons carrying soldiers who were injured in combat, Schutts said."One thing we're really proud of this year is a couple of wagons provided for wounded warriors," he said. "We're honored to have them in there."Also among the riders will be authentic Mexican horsemen, Schutts said."Some Mexican riding clubs from Fort Worth go to great lengths to preserve their heritage, and some are coming from Mexico," Schutts said. "The governor of the state of Zacatecas will be in the parade on horseback. They'll bring the Zacatecas state band, a group of vaqueros and a group of ladies riding sidesaddle."New this year are reserved bleacher-style seats. About 950 reserved seats will be available for $15, Stock Show spokeswoman Shanna Weaver said."Of course, it's always free to go to the parade," she said. "But this year we're making reserved bleacher-style seating available."Terry Evans, 817-390-7620
If you go
The All Western Parade begins at 11 a.m. today in downtown Fort Worth.
It starts at Weatherford and Commerce streets, turns west on Ninth Street, turns north on Houston Street and heads back to the Tarrant County Courthouse.
The parade is free, but reserved seating is $15. Tickets must be bought in advance through ticketmaster.com or the Stock Show ticket office, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave. Each ticket is also good for general admission to the Stock Show grounds (normally $10) during the 23-day run, through Feb. 9.