Bill Ritter takes his last ride in the National Western Stock Show Parade (PHOTO)

Categories: News

Outgoing Governor Bill Ritter mounted up for a ride through the streets of downtown Denver Thursday as part of the National Western Stock Show Parade, an annual tradition that kicked off at Union Station at noon. See him in action below.

The parade was a ride into the sunset, as Ritter will leave office next Tuesday when John Hickenlooper is sworn in as his replacement. Ritter said Wednesday that he will take a job as director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.

Ritter, who kept a low profile and had no visible security as he waited for his cue, let kids pet his horse and chatted up the Stock Show girls and onlookers.

Governor Bill Ritter and the ladies of the Stock Show.
Before kick-starting his ride, Ritter vowed not to fall off and break any ribs as he did in March after a bicycle spill. "I'll be going a lot slower today," he said.

In addition to Ritter, the parade featured longhorn cattle, marching bands, trained dogs, horseback riders, cavalry and performing cowgirls in the parade. The Stock Show runs January 8-23.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Bill Ritter's top 5 accident-related announcements on Bike to Work day."

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I remebered late that the parade was today. Relying on the Denver Post's description: "The National Western Stock Show's annual longhorn cattle drive and parade through the streets of downtown Denver was today along 17th Street from Union Station to the state Capitol." -- this would be news to participants (and might have disappointed anyone foolish enough to believe that the Denver Post is capable of keeping track of what is happening at the State Capitol, less than 300 yards from their offices). I headed downtown about 12:30. There was no sign of stock or a parade anywhere around the Capitol. I gathered from officers on the 16th Street Mall that the parade has never ended at the Capitol, and instead returns along Tremont and 15th St. to Wynkoop. Isn't it more than a little ridiculous that these civic boosters can't provide even the most basic information about this "Denver tradition"?

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