There are many western traditions that have stuck around in Colorado for generations. One of these long-standing celebrations of the Centennial State's western history dates back to the 1800s and still happens annually in the town of Castle Rock.

The Western Heritage Welcome takes place each year to kick off the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo. At the end of every July, residents flock downtown and line the streets to watch the Old West come alive all over again.

Kelsey Nistel/TSM
Kelsey Nistel/TSM
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Part of the welcome features a group of cowhands from Silverado Ranch driving a herd of longhorn cattle right through the heart of downtown Castle Rock. The herd starts at Rock Park and continues down along Perry Steet before completing their journey right in front of the Castle Rock Police Department. The cows are then placed in a corral nearby Festival Park.

Along with the cowboys and cattle, a group of costumed characters also stroll down the street, greeting community members as they go. The Park County Regulators are also on-site to add to the festivities.

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The Western Heritage Welcome honors a ritual that has taken place since the 1800s. During those times, large herds of cattle were taken on a route through Colorado, that was known as the “Goodnight-Loving Trail.” The route started just east of Colorado Springs and passed through Castle Rock on the way to the stockyards in Denver.

Kelsey Nistel/TSM, Canva
Kelsey Nistel/TSM, Canva
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This year's event takes place at 6 p.m. on July 29. The Douglas County Fair and Rodeo, also in Castle Rock, runs through August 7.

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