Celebration of the National Day of the American Cowboy will be observed with special activities from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
“The cowboy is our nation’s greatest ambassador throughout the world, representing the most admired virtues of the American people,” said Don Reeves, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture, on the popularity of the cowboy.
Museum visitors can expect extra entertainment in addition to the cowboy culture and art routinely served up in the museum’s galleries and gardens. Visiting the museum to sign autographs will be Oklahoma’s own cowboy and “Amazing Race” contestant, Jet McCoy.
Musical entertainers will be cowboy singer/songwriter and past Western Heritage Award winner for Outstanding new Artist Gary S. Pratt and Picket Wire, of Davis, along with Western music artists Jim Garling, from Guthrie, and the a Bar Bunkhouse Band, from northeastern Oklahoma. Additionally, three screenings of John Wayne’s film “The Cowboys,” will be shown at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Starting at 10 a.m. is the introduction of the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant contestants, followed at 1:30 p.m. by the announcement of the newly crowned royalty. Seventeen young women are vying for titles in four age divisions ranging from age 4 to 24. the 2010 and 2011 pageant titleholders will sign autographs from 2 to 3 p.m.
New this year, with each museum admission receipt, guests can enter “The Cowboy’s A-Blazin’ Race” and receive a “Passport to the West” for a chance to win prizes. the passport will guide participants through the museum with activities and educational questions.
On the plaza, the Oklahoma State University rodeo team will demonstrate roping and master bladesmith Brion Tomberlin will demonstrate knife making. Brand-themed temporary tattoos will be available all day in the Children’s Cowboy Corral along with children’s storytelling at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Oklahoma County Mounted Sheriff’s Patrol will be a part of the activities again this year to greet guests as they enter the gates of the museum.
American Cowboy magazine launched the campaign for this national day of recognition in 2004.
Several permanent galleries at the museum focus on cowboys, including the American Cowboy Gallery, the Western Performers Gallery and the American Rodeo Gallery.
For more information, call 478-2250.