Tipping hats to cowboy culture and pioneer heritage, folks will gather in Prairie City on Saturday, July 28, to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy.
All are invited to enjoy games for children and adults in the park, a barbecue and a concert at 7 p.m. at the Prairie City Community Hall, featuring singer-songwriter Brenn Hill and cowboy poet-humorist Andy Nelson with special guest cowboy poet Kathy Moss.
Organizers are Wanda Winegar of Prairie City and Moss of Canyon City.
“I think it’s important to preserve what we’re about in Grant County,” Winegar said.
“This event is to bring in community fun, games for all ages and participation for community,” Moss added.
She said it was Prairie City resident Judy Jacobs who first shared the idea of a stick-horse rodeo.
Moss said they are expecting a big showing at the event, not only from locals, but also people from Baker City, Lakeview and northern California.
The activities start with a kids parade at 10:30 a.m. with all the youths traveling from the post office on Main Street to Front Street and ending at the Prairie City park.
Moss said she wants to give an opportunity to the residents at Blue Mountain Care Center, across the street from the post office, to see the parade.
Children of all ages can participate in a stick-horse rodeo at 11 a.m. at the park, which starts with a grand entry.
To sign up for the rodeo, children are asked to contribute one can of food per event. The donations will be given to local food banks.
There will be stick-horse events and “bull riding” on stick-bulls with three divisions: 4 and under, 5-6 and 7 and up.
Kids earn points in bull riding for how hard they buck coming out of the chute, going into a spin, trying to take the clowns and their dismount.
There will be buckle prizes, and then the stick animals will be auctioned off by the Grant Union FFA.
Also at 11 a.m. in the park, youths can compete in a dog costume and talent/agility contest organized by pet rescue organizations Hope 4 Paws (John Day) and Herd You Needed a Home (Bend). FFA members will have an ag olympics, challenging neighboring chapters in skills such as dummy roping and more. There will also be sack races. These events are free.
Winegar said there will be lots of prizes for the kids, including Wrangler bandannas, drinking cups, caps and more.
Youths can preregister for all events at Bar WB and Roan Coffee in Prairie City, Russell’s Custom Meats in Canyon City or the Grant County Chamber of Commerce in John Day, or sign up at the park.
Adults can play jackpot horseshoes near city hall at 1 p.m., and there will be a game of corn hole in the park.
The Prairie City FFA will host a barbecue at 5 p.m. in the park.
At the concert, Hill will sing about the heart of the West, embodying the spirit of the cowboy with a clear voice and contemporary sound.
Among the Utah resident’s 12 recordings are songs such as “Riding Job,” “How you Heal” and “Wyoming Wind.”
Nelson will bring smiles to the audience, adding humor and personal insights with his poetry.
Moss will share her brand of cowboy poetry as well, capturing the lifestyle of American west.
She was winner of the 2017 Keeper of the West People’s Choice buckle in Kamloops, Canada, and the People’s Choice award at the 2018 Columbia River Cowboy Gathering in Kennewick, Washington.
Presale tickets for the concet are available at Russell’s Custom Meats and Bar WB. Presale tickets cost $20, and tickets cost $25 at the door.
National Day of the Cowboy was started in 2005 as a day set aside to celebrate the contributions of the cowboy.
For more information, call Winegar at 541-820-3675 or email Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Day of the Cowboy event is supported by the Greater Prairie City Community Association.