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Best Old West Parade 

The Black Cowboy Parade and Festival

Prancing horses and cowboys in West Oakland? That's right, pardner. Usually on the first Saturday in October, members of the Oakland Black Cowboy Association don their finest ten-gallon hats and fanciest Western duds, mount up, and queue up at deFremery Park astride well-tacked horses to sashay their way through the streets of Oakland, spurs jingling, saddles squeaking, and whips popping. The nonprofit organization and the parade, which dates back to 1975 and is reportedly the only one of its kind in the nation, honor the contributions of people of color as cowboys and settlers of the Old West. This parade is full of all the traditional celebratory trappings — color guards, drills teams, marching bands, and floats. But this one is a sight to behold because it attracts a cavalry-sized horsey contingent of dressed-to-the-nines charros, authentic ropers, amazing trick riders, horse-drawn vehicles, and horsemen and horsewomen outfitted in arresting Arabian and Native American garb.

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