Cattle Drive Arrives, Kicks off Reno Rodeo

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Cattle Drive Arrives, Kicks off Reno Rodeo

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Crowds of families and retirees gathered outside the Reno Livestock Event Center Thursday to see the traditional cattle drive make its arrival.

Scores of participants and wranglers on horseback helped corral the drive's 300 head of cattle down McCarran Blvd. Their ride began in Doyle, California on Sunday and after days of authentic cowboy life, the procession moseyed along urban thoroughfares before arriving at the livestock center, kicking off the 94th annual Reno Rodeo.

Scott Thompson has made the journey seven times.

"Just the back country of Nevada is incredible to see. We see wild mustanges, wild cows, you get to sleep under the stars, you get to listen to the coyotes, the owls, and the hawks. So, it is an experience of lifetime, every time."

There's a 2-3-year waiting list to participate in the cattle drive, and the price tag this year was $1,800. People came from Illinois, Alabama, and even London to get the full Western experience, which included amenities like a saloon set up by Cari Lapori-Cordisco and other camp crew volunteers.

She says having a new route this year did present some challenges.

"The first day, the guests said that the route was pretty hard because it went straight through the brush and there was some waist-high sagebrush because you're going straight through the brush--you're not on roads; you're just moving them."

Now that the cattle have arrived, the Reno Rodeo begins. Organizers expect more than 140,000 attendees this year and have reported an economic impact of $42 million annually to the Reno/Sparks area.