A cattle drive made its way down the streets of downtown Kissimmee Monday afternoon, led by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and it may have given some unknowing passersby the impression that they had stepped back into the times of the Wild West.
However, it was really just the kickoff for the 2016 RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will take place April 7-10 in Kissimmee.
In a press release, Dyer – who grew up in Osceola County – is quoted as saying he’s proud to participate in the event.
“I am proud to be from Osceola County and am honored to be selected to lead the cattle drive through a place that is near and dear to my heart, downtown Kissimmee,” he said. “Through the years, Osceola County and the City of Orlando have enjoyed a great partnership and this is another example of how we work together to get things done while having some fun.”
Dyer acted as the “Trail Boss” of the drive, which the press release stated fit his qualities of leadership and competence.
The event, according to the press release, was a callback to Kissimmee’s time as the “Cow Capital of Florida,” when stray cattle were left penned by the courthouse until their owners picked them up.
Along the streets of downtown Kissimmee, spectators lined up to watch. Andrew Calvert, visiting on holiday from England with his family, said they had no idea the event was happening. But it was also a good surprise for them.
“We came to see something different,” he said. “And we got lucky. We don’t get many rodeos in England.”
Steve Mazon, a partner with Bouchard Insurance and a sponsor for the rodeo, said he appreciated what Monday’s event and the rodeo at large brought to the area.
“It brings people and income to the area,” he said. “It helps out folks invested in local businesses.”
For more information about the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, visit http://www.rncfr.com/.