By Verlie McAlister Edwards & Leanne Kinsey Ivey

After being pretty much “cooped up” over the last couple of years we decided to not give each other gifts that would require dusting, but create memories and have an adventure. After all, neither of us enjoys dusting, however, we definitely enjoy a new adventure.

For Christmas 2021 we decided to re-explore the Fort Worth Stockyards … a national historic treasure in our own backyard. Christmas in The Stockyards is magical. As we strolled down the historic streets Christmas music spread joy at every turn. Large, beautifully decorated trees, carriage rides, a daily cattle drive and a chance share our secret wishes with a Western Santa, provided everything we hoped to experience.

If you are unfamiliar with The Stockyards, it is a great place to step back in time (with all our current amenities) and imagine how the early cowboys and cowgirls lived. Between the 1880s and the 1950s, the Fort Worth Stockyards grew to become the largest livestock-trading center in the southwest. Today, it offers a collection of attractions, re-enactments, rodeo, longhorn cattle drives and plenty of places to enjoy live music, “wet your whistle,” shop and spend a night away from home. And that is exactly what we did for our adventure!

It had been several years since either of us spent time being “tourists” in our own hometown. Checking out new stores and revisiting legendary stores was first on our agenda. We both found great buys and look forward to wearing our new western duds.

You can’t visit The Stockyards and not “sit a spell” at The White Elephant Saloon and Booger Reds Bar in the historic Stockyards Hotel. Hundreds of hats cover the ceiling of the White Elephant, plus a gigantic display of every size of white elephants is something to see. We visited both and even sat on an authentic saddle at Booger Reds! After a quick rest, our hunger pains were quelled with a yummy dinner at H-3 Ranch, one of many, many nationally recognized restaurants.

If boot scoot’n had been on our list of things to do, we would have headed straight to Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk with a Texas-size dance floor and its own indoor rodeo arena for professional bull riding.

As we wandered throughout The Stockyards it was fun to check out The Texas Trail of Fame. Embedded in the sidewalks are over 140, 30-inch bronze plaques, each bearing the name of honorees such as John Wayne, Willie Nelson and Annie Oakley. We even found a plaque honoring a personal friend and fantastic western artist and sculptor Bruce Greene of Clifton, Texas! All of the plaques honor individuals who have made significant contributions to western heritage and history.

The Stockyards epitomize what the cowboy culture is all about. Museums featuring John Wayne, the Texas Cowboys Hall of Fame and the Livestock Exchange brings our past into the 21st century.

Our Christmas hometown adventure proved one thing – the best present is making and sharing memories with a forever friend!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year …

















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