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The cattle are back!

Old cattle drive will kick off Roundup with new route: down Main Street instead of Third Street

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The cattle drive makes its way down Third Street in 2004, the last time the cattle drive happened. This year, the event is slated to start at 10th and Main Street, and make its way down Main Street to the Crook County Fairgrounds.

Saddle up. The cattle drive is back.
   After a one year absence, the cattle drive will be back this year as the unofficial kickoff to the Crooked River Roundup.
   In conjunction with the City of Prineville and the Stafford family, the cattle drive is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 21, preceding the chili feed at the City Hall Plaza.
   "We are so pleased that the city (of Prineville) and the Staffords have taken the lead on the drive," said Hank Simmons, president of the Roundup. "The Roundup Board is excited to see the community step up and take an active roll in making the whole event a success. It truly takes many volunteers to make it happen."
   The cattle drive will start at 5 p.m. and start at 10th and Main Street, winding its way to the Crook County Fairgrounds on Main Street.
   The route is different than in years past, when the cattle drive went down Third Street, took a right on Fairview Street, and headed toward the fairgrounds.
   Last year's cattle drive was canceled after homeowners lining the street complained of cattle causing damage on their property. Simmons said that at the time, the Roundup Board did not want to upset those homeowners and decided to put a stop to the cattle drive.
   "The Roundup Board did not want to create a problem," Simmons said. "We felt that we didn't want to upset those guys so we quit doing it."
   But with the City's backing, and with the different route, the cattle drive is set to move forward down Main Street next week.
   "We are thrilled to be part of the Roundup in a positive way," said Robb Corbett, city manager of Prineville. "The cattle drive is important to our community and keeping with the roots of what Prineville was built on."
   Corbett said that with the growing population of Prineville, one of the primary concerns of the citizens was to not lose the small town feel, and the cattle drive keeps that feel.
   This year's drive will also have some changes that Corbett says will help mitigate the problems that have arisen in years past.
   For one, cattle will be used that are "less prone to moving out of control." The city has also been seeking out volunteers that have extensive backgrounds in moving cattle, as well as making resources available that will see to any problems that might occur along the route.
   "I think we're doing everything we can to avoid problems," Corbett said. "Problems might occur and we are prepared to deal with them as quickly and as efficiently as we can."
   Corbett added that the reason for the late notice, as the cattle drive is scheduled for less than a week away, was due to volunteer help and sponsorship.
   "I think it just took a while to work with the issues, which were mainly logistics," Corbett said. "When we found out about it, we were interested to help put this back in place because of the value we think it brings to the community."
   The Stafford family is providing the cows for the drive and will help keep the cows moving down Main Street.