Cowboy event moseying in this weekend into Tonganoxie
Organizer Charley Green hopes Saturday’s event in downtown Tonganoxie and the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds rustles up some big crowds.
Tonganoxie will celebrate National Day of the American Cowboy with a parade and several country western music performances and vendors.
Green, a longtime cowboy himself, originally is from Linwood and is working to start a tradition with what’s hoped to be an annual attraction.
The national event began in 2005 when the U.S. Congress designated the fourth Saturday in July as National Day of the Cowboy. Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed a proclamation also making it the Kansas Day of the Cowboy. Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward designated it as the Day of the Tonganoxie Cowboy at the July 6 meeting.
This year’s local event starts with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday through downtown Tonganoxie. The Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard from Fort Riley will lead the parade.
A group representing the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers, the Old Fort Days Dandies, Mexican cowboys, dancing horses and cowboys and cowgirls on horseback are some of the parade participants to follow the Fort Riley group.
Vendors and exhibits demonstrating various cowboy culture will be featured along the parade route. Later in the day, a series of vocalists will perform in the afternoon and into the evening at The Jewel on Main, Fourth and Main streets. Re-enactors and exhibitors will make appearances throughout the day downtown and at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
Events taking place after the parade on Saturday are:
- High Noon Saloon opens at noon near Fourth and Main, with performances by The Stranger Creek Band and Stephanie Layne.
- A children’s show that Susie Knight has developed, with appearances by Del Shields and Sherry Dodson, also starts at noon and will be in The Jewel on Main theater at Fourth and Main.
- At 1:30 p.m. at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds, The Old Fort Days Dandies Equestrian Drill Team will perform. The group is based out of Arkansas.
- At 2 p.m. in the theater, groups will share their roles in western heritage in the 1800s. First City’s Performers and Story Tellers will present first with “Legendary Characters and Music of the Old West.” The Nicodemus group will perform after the PAST group with a performance titled “Blacks in the Old West.”
- At 5 p.m. and again at 8 p.m, The Jewell on Main will feature award-winning artists from the Western Music Association: Susie Knight, Kristyn Harris, Mikki Daniel, and Three Trails West, along with Rusty Rierson, Stephanie Layne and Del Shields.
On Sunday, the Rev. Frank Slaughter will lead a 10 a.m. church service at The Jewel on Main, with guest performances by Two Steppin’ with the Lord.
The Old Fort Days Dandies Equestrian Drill Team will perform again at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds.
More about the weekend festivities can be found at cowboy-day.com.
The event benefit Tonganoxie Elementary School’s Food 4 Friends Program.