A few cattle participating in the Puyallup Fair’s opening parade veered off course and ended up in a downtown Puyallup convenience store this morning, forcing a pair of mounted cowboys to enter the store and drive them out.
Several other cattle lost their way in the parking lot of the convenience store and adjoining gas station, located at the corner of South Meridian Street and 5th Avenue Southwest.
Eventually, the cowboys drove all the cattle back to the parade route along Meridian and the parade proceeded as planned.
Puyallup Police spokesman Dave McDonald said the store’s automatic sliding doors are what allowed the animals to enter.
“The motion-operated doors opened right up for them,” McDonald said, adding that the animals didn’t damage the store or cause any injuries.
Paulette Phillips of Buckley was watching the parade from directly across the street when the cattle entered the store. It made for an exciting show, said Phillips, who was attending the parade for the first time.
“We had the perfect seats,” said Phillips, 52. “It took them quite a while to get them out of there.”
The Western Rodeo Parade and Cattle drive opens the Puyallup Fair every year.
McDonald said that although its not uncommon for the cattle to deviate from the parade route, he can’t remember a time when they’ve entered a building.
“They tend to go toward breaks in the crowd,” McDonald said. “There was a break up there and they went for it.”
Karen LaFlamme, spokeswoman for the Puyallup Fair, said one time a lost animal walked up to a drive-through window at at bank, as if it wanted to make a withdrawal.
“This time, I guess they wanted to go shopping,” LaFlamme said.