‘You never know’ what might happen when 40 fair-bound cattle roll down Puyallup’s main drag

Gary Rempel keeps a lasso close by his side every year as he rides through the Washington State Fair’s Western Rodeo Parade & Cattle Drive in Puyallup.

The Calgary Stampede pickup man from Montana said it’s just in case one member of the herd decides to stray from his path along North Meridian. The trick is to avoid gaps between people.

“You never know. It’s always a possibility,” Rempel said. “We try to keep them moving so they don’t get away.”

About 40 cattle tromped their way through downtown Puyallup on Friday morning for the annual parade, bringing cheers from those sitting on the sidelines.

Luckily, there was no incident of stray cattle nosing their way off course for a snack, like in the past, Police Captain Ryan Portmann said.

Rempel, who has traveled from Montana to the Washington State Fair for the past 10 years for the rodeo, didn’t have to use his lasso this time.

“It’s fun to be out here,” he said. “It’s nice weather.”

Despite missing a few key school marching bands, the hundreds of parade watchers seemed to enjoy the show.

“We love watching the cattle drive,” Puyallup resident Bill Wolfe said. “You run into friends every time you come down here.”

Every year, Wolfe and his family go to breakfast and then come watch the parade. He’s been coming for a decade, bringing his son, Todd Wolfe, and grandson, Liam Wolfe.

“We’ve been keeping the tradition going for (Liam),” Bill Wolfe said.

When asked about his favorite part of the parade, 3-year-old Liam threw his cowboy hat into the street.

Spoken like a true cowboy.

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison