Museum celebrates 15th Cowboy Days

Feb 12, 2014

For the 15th year, the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces will be consumed with everything Old West during its annual Cowboy Days celebration on March 8-9.

The fun is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 9. Admission is $5 for everyone 5 and older. There are no passes or free admission for this special event.

An exciting new addition to the festivities this year is the Borderland Pistoleros Mounted Shooting Club. Riders on horseback will demonstrate the fast-growing sport of mounted shooting, using rifles, shotguns and pistols. Black-powder blanks are used as the riders weave quickly through a course, firing at balloons. The demonstrations will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

“It’s the Old West,” said Borderland Pistoleros member Jim Huff, when asked why the competition is so popular for spectators. “It’s as John Wayne as you can get … riding fast and blasting away with a smoking six-gun.”

Speaking of “six-guns,” Flying Cloud Productions returns this year to perform gunfight re-enactments twice each day, and also will have an Old West Medicine Show and a 19th Century Fashion Show. The gunfights are at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Museum staff members and volunteers offer interactive, living history fun each year and the story this year will be the Trial of Samuel Cooper, who is accused of cattle rustling. Visitors are invited to interact with the characters as the fate of Cooper is decided. Will there be a hanging? The living history will be from 1 to 1:45 p.m. and 2 to 2:45 p.m. each day.

A new addition to the children’s activities this year is the Sheriff School, where kids go through a brief training to see if they have what it takes to be a sheriff in the Old West. There also will be Cowboy Boot Camp craft activities throughout the day, and pony rides from 12 to 4 p.m. There is an additional $5 charge for pony rides.

Demonstrations are always a big part of Cowboy Days as the Museum pays tribute to the state’s ranching history. The Parade of Breeds takes place from 12 to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. each day. Cowboys on horseback bring cattle from each of the Museum’s six different breeds of beef cattle into the Round Pen and talk about the history and specific characteristics of each breed. Tours of the livestock facilities will take place at 1:30 each day.

Other demonstrations include blacksmithing, sewing, weaving and dowsing. On Sunday only, Pat Howard and his working dogs will be here to demonstrate how they herd livestock. The Back Country Horsemen and New Mexico State University’s Horseman’s Association also will be on hand. Robert Bruce of Deming will have his ponies here pulling a wagon and giving rides to children.

Chuck wagon cooking by Dave Harkness and cowboy music also are part of the festivities. The musical performers on the schedule are Tom Foster Morris, Chris Baker, Randy Granger, Bruce Carlson, Washtub Jerry, Kenny Arroyos, James Michael, the Stagecoach Troubadours and Skunk Valley.

Members of the Western Writers of America will do readings and talk about their works in the museum’s theater each day. They include Thomas Bryant, Linda Jacobs, Melody Groves and Johnny Boggs.

The museum’s greenhouse will be open for business both days. A variety of home-grown plants, shrubs and flowers will be for sale, and Cowboy Days admission is required to shop at the greenhouse.

Arts and crafts vendors will be set up around the 47-acre facility and there will be plenty of food choices.

For more information, visit www.nmcowboydays.com or call the museum at (575) 522-4100, or Helping Hands Event Planning at (575) 527-1232.

Cowboy Days schedule

Ongoing activities both days: Blacksmith, weaving, sewing and dowsing demonstrations, plant sale at the museum’s greenhouse, NMSU Horseman’s Association, stagecoach rides, wagon rides for children, chuck wagon cooking, food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and the Cowboy Boot Camp craft activities for children. Also, Pat Howard’s working/herding dogs on Sunday only.

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

10-11 a.m.: Gunfight re-enactments by Flying Cloud Productions in front of the Bruce King Building.
10-10:30 a.m.: Sheriff School for children in the Courtyard.
10:30-11:30 a.m.: Thomas Bryant of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
10:30-11:30 a.m.: Tom Foster Morris performs in the Courtyard.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Borderland Pistoleros mounted shooting at the Roping Arena.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Chris Baker performs at the Pavilion.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Back Country Horseman packing demonstration near the Dairy Barn.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Linda Jacobs of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Sheriff School for children in the Courtyard.
12-4 p.m.: Pony rides for children near the Horse & Cattle Barn.
12-12:30 p.m.: Old West Medicine Show in the Amphitheater.
12-1 p.m.: Parade of Breeds in the Round Pen.
12-1 p.m.: Randy Granger performs at the Pavilion.
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Stagecoach Troubadours in the Amphitheater.
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Melody Groves of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
1-1:45 p.m.: Living history: The Trial of Samuel Cooper in the Horse & Cattle Barn.
1:30-2:30 p.m.: 19th Century Fashion Show in The Theater.
1:30-2 p.m.: Livestock tour near the Round Pen.
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Bruce Carlson performs in the Courtyard.
2-2:45 p.m.: Living history: The Trial of Samuel Cooper in the Horse & Cattle Barn.
2-3 p.m.: Kenny Arroyos performs at the Pavilion.
2:30-3:30 p.m.: Washtub Jerry performs in the Courtyard.
3-4 p.m.: Parade of Breeds in the Round Pen.
3-4 p.m.: Gunfight re-enactments by Flying Cloud Productions in front of the Bruce King Building.
3-4 p.m.: Johnny Boggs of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
3-4 p.m.: James Michael performs at the Pavilion.
3:30-4 p.m.: Sheriff School for children in the Courtyard.
4-5 p.m.: Borderland Pistoleros mounted shooting at the Roping Arena.
4-5 p.m.: Skunk Valley performs in the Amphitheater.

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

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Gunfight re-enactments by Flying Cloud Productions in front of the Bruce King Building.
10:30-11:30 a.m.: Johnny Boggs of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
10:30-11:30 a.m.: Tom Foster Morris performs in the Courtyard.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Borderland Pistoleros mounted shooting in the Roping Arena.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Chris Baker performs at the Pavilion.
11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Sheriff School for children in the Courtyard.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Melody Groves of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Back Country Horsemen packing demonstration near the Dairy Barn.
12-4 p.m.: Pony rides for children near the Horse & Cattle Barn.
12-12:30 p.m.: Old West Medicine Show in the Amphitheater.
12-1 p.m.: Parade of Breeds in the Round Pen.
12-1 p.m.: Randy Granger performs at the Pavilion.
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Stagecoach Troubadours perform in the Amphitheater.
12:30-1:30 p.m.: Thomas Bryant of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
1-1:45 p.m.: Living history: The Trial of Samuel Cooper in the Horse & Cattle Barn.
1:30-2 p.m.: Livestock tour near the Round Pen.
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Bruce Carlson performs in the Courtyard.
1:30-2:30 p.m.: 19th Century Fashion Show in the Theater.
2-2:45 p.m.: Living history: The Trial of Samuel Cooper in the Horse & Cattle Barn.
2-3 p.m.: Kenny Arroyos performs at the Pavilion.
2:30-3:30 p.m.: Washtub Jerry performs in the Courtyard.
3-4 p.m.: Parade of Breeds at the Round Pen.
3-4 p.m.: Gunfight re-enactments by Flying Cloud Productions in front of the Bruce King Building.
3-4 p.m.: James Michael performs at the Pavilion.
3-4 p.m.: Linda Jacobs of the Western Writers of America in the Theater.
3:30-4 p.m.: Sheriff School for children in the Courtyard.
4-5 p.m.: Borderland Pistoleros mounted shooting in the Roping Arena.
4-5 p.m.: Skunk Valley performs in the Amphitheater.

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