In Market: It’s time to get our boots on again

Stock Show

Every January, we become Cowtown again.

Man, Fort Worth is a happenin’ town.

Just last year, Facebook announced the social media giant was building a new, clean energy-powered data center in town. And every week we get new restaurants, bars and retail stores that are the latest, greatest and hippest. Fort Worth is dressing better, too. We’re more stylish that we were in the old days.

The old joke about the plane having to make an emergency landing in Fort Worth and the flight attendant telling passengers to set their watches back 20 years is not so true anymore.

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Someone once told me they could tell more about people by looking at their shoes than by talking to them. And if you look at Fort Worth’s footwear…well, we’re still Cowtown, no matter what hipster sheen we try to pull off. This is where we get our cowboy on.

No better place to make that observation than the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, now in its 120th year and not just going strong, but saddling up for the future.

Just this year, the Stock Show opened up the new $15.4 million project that includes the renovation of Cattle Barn 2 and a Tower Promenade.

That’s only a first step. Next up is the Stock Show’s biggest boot-step forward, the $450 million multipurpose arena, expected to debut by or before 2021.

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Part of this spending is to beef up (pun intended) Fort Worth’s offerings to the rodeo and livestock trade – basically the traditional Texas rancher – boost Stock Show & Rodeo attendance and attract more events to the Will Rogers complex.

You can read more about that in our stories in this week’s issue and on our website as well as blog posts by longtime Stock Show writer Worth Wren Jr. He’s saddled up to provide us what will be excellent, experienced coverage of this Fort Worth institution though the run of the event.

But there’s another reason Fort Worth is doing this. Quite simply, it’s in our DNA. Some of us, like me, are more or less playing dress up – or, as they now say, engaging in “cosplay.” But that wasn’t the case when my grandfather used to display his horse and cattle trailers at the Stock Show, and I’ll bet the same is true for a lot of people in this area. This is where our roots – and our boots – are. And for all you new transplants to Texas, head down to get a look at the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of your new hometown.

Facebook, welcome to Fort Worth. Now get your boots on.