FORT WORTH. Texas – The Wall That Heals, a traveling, half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., comes to Fort Worth Feb. 14 as the centerpiece of The American FanZone in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Nightly concerts, food trucks and exhibits make The FanZone a free area of entertainment and educational exhibits for people of all ages in conjunction with The American Semi-Finals Rodeo, Feb. 14-17 in Cowtown Coliseum.
The Wall That Heals will arrive in Fort Worth and proceed to historic Exchange Avenue, escorted by the Patriot Guard motorcycle club, at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Members of local ROTC and other groups will help set up the wall in a parking lot just east of the historic Livestock Exchange Building at 131 Exchange Avenue.
The full exhibit includes the 250-ft. wall, erected in a chevron shape and made of 24 individual panels of powder-coated aluminum on aluminum frames. More than 58,000 names of service members who died in the Vietnam Conflict are enshrined on the wall. A mobile education center accompanies the wall, telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict and providing historical and cultural context about American experiences in Vietnam. The Wall That Heals will be available for viewing 24 hours a day until Saturday, Feb. 18 at 5 pm.
The American FanZone will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Feb. 15-17, along Exchange Avenue from Cowtown Coliseum to Stockyards Station. Activities include food trucks and beer vendors and a stage with six different musical acts performing each day from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday’s music theme is Texas Country, Thursday’s is Hispanic Heritage and Friday’s is Classic Country.
“The American is about celebrating cowboy culture and the western lifestyle and there’s no better place to do that than the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards,” said RFD-TV Chief Marketing Officer, Billy Frey. “Visitors to the FanZone will have an experience like never before – whether that is paying tribute to our fallen heroes, enjoying the rodeo, listening to music and much more, the Stockyards is the place to be when the biggest week in western sports hits Texas.”
The FanZone will also host a fashion show on the entertainment stage at 3 p.m. Friday, hosted by The Bleacher Babe, a rodeo fashion and western lifestyle blog. The show will feature rodeo athletes and their families plus western celebrity models wearing FarmHer fashion and apparel from Stockyards City boutiques.
Nearly 3,500 rodeo contestants from around the world have competed at almost 80 qualifying events, hoping to advance to The American Semi-Finals where nearly $1 million in prize money will be paid. Rodeo action at Cowtown Coliseum begins Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 9 a.m. with barrel racing. Tie-down roping follows on Tuesday afternoon. Bull riding takes over on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 9 a.m.
The three American Semi-Final Rodeo performances, which feature all seven rodeo events, begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friday’s championship final determines which contestants will advance to compete against ten of the best pro rodeo athletes in each in RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN presented by Polaris RANGER on Sunday, Feb. 19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Tickets for the American Semi-Finals are available at Cowtown Coliseum.
The American is the world’s richest one-day rodeo, awarding $2 million prize money to winners in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding.