It’s that time of year again in Cowtown! Though we “city folk” call it THE rodeo, it’s known to ranchers, rodeo entertainers, and carnies as The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. Over the 23 day-long event, about 900,000 people will attend this western bash. And there’s something for everyone: live music, lots of kid-friendly exhibits, a midway, and exhibit hall full of vendors. Even if you aren’t a Wild West aficionado, you just can’t help but smile at the chicken eggs hatching, the children feeding baby goats, or the rodeo announcer telling his old-fashioned, corny jokes.
Nearly every Fort Worth citizen knows that Fort Worth got the nickname of Cowtown shortly after the civil War, when cowboys stopped for supplies here on their way from South Texas to the Chisholm Trail (not to be confused with that new tollway we’re falling in love with).
But, did you know that our stock show and rodeo is the oldest continuously (with a one year hiatus in 1943–all buildings were being used for the World War II efforts) running livestock show and rodeo? Starting small in 1896 under a few trees at Marine Creek, the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show has brought Fort Worth fame and fortune through the years.
Monkey and Dog Books has a great “Texas” section with lots of books to entice your little cowpokes to learn about the western culture of Fort Worth and Texas. From the classic Pecos Bill to Cowboy Small, we’ve got a book you can use as a springboard to a great learning experience about the history of our beloved Cowtown.
*Here are just a couple to whet your appetite!
One of our favs for introducing armadillos, rodeos, and/or myopia, Jan Brett’s Armadillo Rodeo is eye candy. Known for her exquisitely detailed illustrations, Ms. Brett weaves in stories within stories–and this one’s no exception! (ages 4+)
What If You Met a Cowboy from author Jan Adkins is a humorous, informative, and quite detailed book about “real” cowboys. Adkins does a downright respectable job describing the language, the saddles, the habits, and the history of the cowboy, but she does leave out cowboys of color and cowgirls. This book could be a perfect companion with a trip to the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame….just to fill in those gaps. Both museums are right here in Fort Worth! (ages 6+)