Cowboy Days rides again on March 8-9

Jan 28, 2008

New Mexico's ranching heritage comes to life on March 8-9 when the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum hosts Cowboy Days.

The ninth-annual festival features two days packed with demonstrations, music, book-signings, children's activities and great food. This year marks the first time the celebration will be held during the spring and admission is only $1 per person. The activities are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 9.

Cowboy Days 2008 begins with the second-annual Dutch Oven Lov'n Cook-Off at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Teams in the cook-off will create a main meat dish, bread and a dessert, all in a Dutch oven. Hundreds of dollars in prizes will be awarded to the winners and festival-goers will get to sample the food.

One of the new features this year will be the picturesque longhorns from Folsom Falls Ranch near Folsom, N.M. Cowboys from the ranch will saddle the steers and ride them around the museum campus during the event.

Renowned Western author Max Evans will give a lecture about his newest book, "For the Love of a Horse" on Saturday and sign books. Evans, of Albuquerque, has won dozens of awards and two of his novels – "The Rounders" and "The Hi-Lo Country" -- were made into major movies. Also on Saturday, Fred Balmer of Folsom will sign copies of his "Festus" children's book series.

Entertainment on Saturday includes award-winning Western singers and musicians such as Lorraine Rawls of Talent, Oregon; Dennis Jay of LaVernia, Texas; Eddy Harrison of Las Cruces; Washtub Jerry and Glenn Moreland of Fort Davis, Texas; Sid Hausman of Tesuque, N.M.; and Syd Masters and Swing Riders from Edgewood, N.M. On Sunday, the popular local band, Steve Smith and Hard Road, will perform, as will James Michael of Las Cruces..

Demonstrations during both days include working cattle on horseback, blacksmithing, milking, sewing, weaving, quilting, dowsing, and the very popular Charros El Pedregal from Vado. The charros perform a variety of colorful and exciting Mexican-style rodeo demonstrations. On Sunday, Pat Howard will have his working dogs performing herding demonstrations.

"Six Guns and Shady Ladies," a historical performance group from El Paso, will do gunfight re-enactments and living history demonstrations throughout both days.

Children's activities both days include pony rides, leather stamping, stick horse racing, a shooting gallery and mazes. Also, Pete Paulson's stagecoach, a Cowboy Days staple, will be on hand to give free rides around the museum campus.

Food booths and Western arts and crafts vendors also will be part of the festivities.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, the museum will celebrate the opening of the Children's Discovery Garden. This interactive area for children in front of the Bruce King Building emphasizes fun and learning.

As a prelude to the festival, the museum will play host to a fund-raising event at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 7. Lorraine Rawls, guest curator of the museum exhibit, "Gardians of the Camargue: The French Cowboy Tradition," will do a special presentation and there will be wine, cheese and a silent auction. Lorraine also will give supporters a sneak peek of a new documentary called "The Gardians" which profiles a centuries-old cowboy culture in France. Admission for the event is $25 per person and the proceeds will benefit the museum's education department.

Cowboy Days schedule

Continuous activities both days

• Stagecoach rides
Dutch Oven Cooking
Wood carving
• Food booths
• Western Art & Crafts Sale
• Children's crafts & activities
• Pony rides
• The Folsom Falls longhorn steers
• Living history
• Goat roping
• Blacksmithing
• Chuck wagon history
• Sewing, weaving & quilting
• Dowsing demonstrations
• Working dogs (Sunday only)
• Shooting gallery
• Kids rodeo activities

Saturday, March 8
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Dutch Oven Lov'n Cook-Off in front of the Bruce King Building.
11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Award-winning author Max Evans in the theater.
11 a.m.: Milking demonstration at the Skaggs Dairy Barn.
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Eddy Harrison performs in the courtyard.
12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Lorraine Rawls performs in the theater.
12 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Max Evans book-signing in the lobby.
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Parade of Breeds in the round pen.
12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Mescalero NDE PowWow Club (Indian Dancers) perform in the amphitheater.
12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.: Washtub Jerry & Glenn Moreland perform in the courtyard.
1 p.m.: Grand opening of the Children's Discovery Garden.
1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.: "Be in a Band" workshop in the theater.
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.: Horsemanship demonstration at the round pen.
1:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.: Gunfight in front of the Bruce King Building.
1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Sid Hausman performs in the courtyard.
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Mescalero NDE PowWow Club (Indian Dancers) perform in the amphitheater.
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Fred Balmer book-signing in the lobby.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Charros El Pedregal perform in the round pen.
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.: Dennis Jay performs in the courtyard.
3 p.m.: Milking demonstration at the Skaggs Dairy Barn.
3 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.: Gunfight in front of the Bruce King Building.
3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.: Lorraine Rawls performs in the theater.
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Syd Masters & Swing Riders perform in the courtyard.
3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Livestock handling demonstration in the round pen.
4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.: Western history lecture by Fred Balmer in the theater.
4:30 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.: Gunfight in front of the Bruce King Building.

Sunday, March 9
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

12 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Parade of Breeds in the round pen.
12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Mescalero NDE PowWow Club (Indian Dancers) perform in the amphitheater.
12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: James Michael performs in the theater.
12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.: Sid Hausman performs in the courtyard.
1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.: Lorraine Rawls performs in the theater.
1:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.: Gunfight in front of the Bruce King Building.
1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Washtub Jerry & Glenn Moreland perform in the courtyard.
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Mescalero NDE PowWow Club (Indian Dancers) perform in the amphitheater.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Lorraine Rawls book-signing in the lobby.
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Horsemanship demonstration at the round pen.
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: "The Gardians" documentary in the theater.
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.: Eddy Harrison & Dennis Jay perform in the courtyard.
3 p.m.: Milking demonstration at the Skaggs Dairy Barn.
3 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.: Gunfight in front of the Bruce King Building.
3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.: James Michael performs in the theater.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Charros El Pedregal perform in the round pen.
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Steve Smith & Hard Road perform in the courtyard.
4:30 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.: Gunfight in front of the Bruce King Building.

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For information contact Craig Massey at craig.massey@state.nm.us.