National Western Stock Show Parade: Cattle drive through downtown Denver at noon Thursday

DENVER - The National Western Stock Show is formally getting under way with its traditional parade and cattle drive in downtown Denver.

Longhorn steers will be driven 13 blocks along 17th Street from Union Station to Tremont Place starting at noon on Thursday.

The 108th edition of the show runs 16 days. Events began Sunday with a quarter horse show. Rodeo performances start Saturday.

More than 15,000 animals from alpacas to yaks are brought to the show.

Attendance last year was about 628,000, down from a record 727,000 in 2006.