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Fort Worth Celebrates National Day Of The American Cowboy

A herd of Texas Longhorns, a cow chip throwing contest, and cowboy karaoke attracted some 12,000 people on Saturday during Fort Worth's National Day of the American Cowboy. 

Folks were singing their hearts Saturday during Cowboy Karaoke, in 100 degree plus heat.

Kimberly from Tennessee sang on the main stage, in front of The Livestock Exchange building, a 112-year-old structure where cattle traders handled business for decades. The day was filled with all sorts of entertainment, and not one, but two cattle drives.

"This is the best place ever...I love it!"

Wanda Smith is from Dallas. This is her first visit to the stockyards with her grandchildren, Mary and Jack. She was so excited she called her brother, and told him he had to get out here. It's everything cowboy, she says.

"The whole atmosphere, the whole thing, the longhorns."

Jim Walker's wearing his cowboy hat, and loving it too. He's from Arlington.

"I think it's the greatest thing. It's the real America," he said. 

His friend, Sammi McClaurin, agrees.

"I'm from Lubbock and we have cowboy pride there all the time," she said. "The cowboy is an iconic person, he got up in the morning, worked through rain, hail, tornado ... someone you can depend on and trust."

Walker said: "And his word was his bond."

It was hard to find anyone who didn't like cowboys.

"No one in our country has ever worked harder than a cowboy," said Lady Theresa Thombs, a Fort Worth real estate broker. She's concerned about recent City Council-initiated zoning changes for the historic Stockyards, which would allow mixed-used development, including residential properties.

"I believe the Stockyards need to stay the way it is," Thombs said. "It is steeped in rich heritage and rich history, that is the making of Fort Worth. Over in Dallas, they've allowed the condos, they've allowed progress to encroach upon some of their historical sites. And this is more than just some place for people to live. The Stockyards down here off of Exchange was actually built here in order for us to hang on to our history."

The cowboy history is a "wonderful American story," said Gary Brinkley, general manager at Stockyard Station.

"Cowboy history is something great to celebrate -- rough, resilient people," he said. 

It's a story that inspires young Destiny Lewis, who's visiting from Minnesota, to want to become a cowgirl.

"I like riding horses," she said. "I'm sort of a country girl, but a city girl, too. I've lived in the city most of my life. But I like the country. When I first came here, that's how I decided to become a cowgirl."

Lewis also competed in the cowboy karaoke contest -- but her song didn't have a cowboy theme. Instead, she sang the popular song from Disney's "Frozen."

"Elsa -- Do you want to be a snowman?..."