Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Cowboy Christmas Festivities

By Andrea Downing

Although we only have one week to go ’til the Big Day, I thought I’d have a look around at some Cowboy Christmas events yet to take place.  If you’re like me, you probably leave a lot of preparations until the last minute anyway, so if any of these are within your driving distance, or you’re looking for a short break, maybe one of these will get you in the spirit.
Over in Bandera, Texas, purported Cowboy Capital of the World, celebrations started on Dec. 7th  but the best is yet to come. On Dec. 21, there is ‘Singing in the Saddle’ with a caroling parade around Bandera. And on the 28th, Cowboys on Main has performances with music, chuck wagons, ropers, and wagon rides.
Over in Prescott, AZ, which claims to have the oldest professional rodeo in the world (July 4, 1888) celebrations are well under way but the Annual Gingerbread Village display can still be seen at the conference center and proceeds benefit the Hungry Kids Project. But for a real cowboy New Year’s Eve, watch the Whiskey Row Boot Drop—and I needn’t tell you what kind of a boot it is!
Elko, NV, is known as a cowboy’s paradise and is also home to the grand-daddy of cowboy poetry festivals, The National Cowboy Gathering, coming up in late Jan.   As for Christmas, we’ve missed the cattle-woman’s tour of festive homes but there’ll be a huge party at the Northeastern Nevada Museum on the 19th.  It includes gaming tables and raffles and auctions—sounds like a lot of fun!

Deadwood, SD, needs no introduction as a cowboy hangout, or perhaps I should say an outlaw’s hangout. As I write, the Black Hills Cowboy Christmas is taking place but there’re still plenty of events to come. For last minute shoppers, there’s the Christmas Shoppers’ Village over at the High Plains Western Heritage Center.
Finally, my adopted hometown of Jackson, WY, may not have festivities particularly associated with cowboys, but the horse-drawn sleigh rides through the Elk Refuge will certainly make up for it—and there are plenty of Stetson-wearing punchers around town.  The town square is beautifully lit and Santa makes regular visits, and the Wort Hotel has twelve days of varied events—everything from gingerbread baking lessons to a brunch with Santa. After that, you can count down to New Year’s Eve and party at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where the barstools are saddles, the drinks bring good cheer, and the music will keep your toes tapping right into 2020.

Very Best Wishes for Christmas and the most Joyous, Successful, and Healthy 2020

Photo of Prescott Boot Drop, City of Prescott Office of Tourism.
Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, author's own
cartoons clip-art or public domain


Patti Sherry-Crews said...

How fun! Cowboy poetry and gingerbread village. Jackson Hole sounds like a great place to spend the holidays. I can see myself going on a sleigh ride through the natural beauty and then settling down on a saddle to enjoy a hot toddy. Happy Holidays, Andrea!

Andrea Downing said...

Thanks Patti. It did seem most of the big events were earlier in the month but I’ll settle for that sleigh ride and drink!