Denver Direct: If I Owned the Stock Show (and I sorter do)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If I Owned the Stock Show (and I sorter do)

Editorial by Tom Anthony

If I owned the National Western Stock Show-NWSS- (and since they pay the Denver Taxpayers $1 a year for their old, dilapidated buildings that are about 100 years newer than mine, I sorter do) I’d have an Urban Equestrian program for the inner city kids to learn about animal husbandry. Since NWSS sits on the historic packinghouse yards next to the Platte River, it wouldn’t be hard to make a horse trail through Riverside Cemetery along the river, and into the big open spaces in Adams County and conduct “urban horseplay” tours to Barr Lake and back.

If the management were feeling “squeezed fer space” I’d look into how to integrate the 80 acre ASARCO site in Globeville, which Region 8 EPA wants to make a permanent toxic waste disposal site, into some additional horse trailer parking or some such, and connect that site to the main site with the Elyria Loop Bus in the Elyria 2020 Vision Plan which loops through Globeville past the 38th and Blake station in Cole Neighborhood to the NWSS Station (did you know that the Taxpayers were already going to build a train stop at 48th and Brighton Blvd called the NWSS Station? They are.) That would make the NWSS “public transit accessible” and easy to attend the “Model Train Show” the “Exotic Bird Show” the “Curly Haired Dog Show” and the “Motorcycle Swap Meet” although who’d want to ride commuter rail to a motorcycle swap?

I’d turn the old Stock Pens, which are used only during the Stock Show itself in January, into Denver’s biggest outdoor public market, weekends only, and make room for 750 small business booths where anybody from tamale builders to artists to garage salers could showcase their wares to 40,000 metropolitan proletarians weekly amid the screechings of Bluegrass and Flamenco.

I’d make it so the Denver County Fair could run for a week or maybe two, so all the new hen and rooster raisers could really get someone’s goat. We’d make side trips to the Denver Impound Auction on the one side and River North Art District on the other, while conducting Urban Pioneering Tours of Swansea and Globeville, with side trips to Sunnyside and Chaffee Park.

If I owned the Stock Show (and I sorter do) I’d go ahead and make 4H and Westernaires available to Denver Public Schools, and the kids could get there via the RTD commuter rail line to Elyria. I’d have my kids riding and roping and curry combing and manure pitching; all the things that build character and connect the human spirit to the wind. I’d take the RiverWalk concept from Houston and Glendale and put it along Denver’s only river, behind the dirt parking lots at NWSS.

If I owned the Stock Show (and I sorter do) I’d bring the wild west to life here in Denver. As far as Aurora, well, they’ve got the Borealis. Let’s keep it that way.