“Everything cowboy” has been promised for The National Day of the American Cowboy this weekend at Tonganoxie.
Charley Green, author, entertainer and part time cowboy from Overland Park, is presenting the celebration which he hopes will be become an annual program, in unity with the Leavenworth County community of Tonganoxie.
The National Day of the Cowboy organization was founded in June 2005, when the United States Senate declared the fourth Saturday of July as “The National Day of the American Cowboy.” The group received a non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service on December 7, 2005.
“Our celebration, Saturday, July 25, in Tonganoxie, honors this declaration, and the legendary icon, the American cowboy,” Green explained.
The celebration, with many generous sponsors including the First State Bank & Trust which is served by known Kansas Angus breeder Bill New as president, will honor and recognize the American cowboy of yesterday and today highlighting their diversity.
“Talented performers from all over the U.S. will come to Leavenworth to demonstrate skills and a wide array of programs in the tradition of the American cowboy,” Green said.
.Festivities begin at 10 o’clock Saturday morning with a parade up Tonganoxie’s Fourth Street.
It will be led by The Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard from Fort Riley, followed by a contingent of the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers, The Old Fort Days Dandies, Mexican cowboys, dancing horses, and cowboys and cowgirls on horseback, along with various groups representing the cowboy culture, Green insisted.
Vendors will line the parade route, and designated areas are set aside for demonstrations such as chuck wagons, blacksmithing and other Western related historical venues.
The High Noon Saloon opens at noon, with guest performers including The Stranger Creek Band, and Stephanie Layne, proclaimed Queen of the High Noon Saloon.
Reenactors and entertainers will be making appearances on the street throughout the day. Exhibitions are also planned at the Leavenworth Country Fairgrounds by the Old Fort Day Dandies, equestrian drill team based out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, along with other entertainers.
A children’s show, developed by Susie Knight, with appearances by Del Shields and Sherry Dodson, is also planned at noon in The Jewell on Main theatre, 707 East Fourth Street.
At 2 o’clock in the theatre, two groups will share their roles in Western Heritage during the 1800s.
Part I features First City’s P.A.S.T. Performers & Storytellers presenting “Legendary Characters & Music of the Old West.”
Part II includes The Nicodemus Group with Angela Bates and Barrie Tompkins, portraying characters from “Blacks in the Old West,” as a historical presentation of the African American’s contribution to the Western Heritage.
Performances set for 5 o’clock, and again at 8 o’clock, at The Jewell on Main, will feature award winning artists from the Western Music Association including Susie Knight, Kristyn Harris, Mikki Daniel, and Three Trails West, along with Rusty Rierson, Stephanie Layne and Del Shields.
Cowboy Church, entitled Two-Stepping with the Lord, begins at 9:50, Sunday, July 26, at The Jewell on Main. “It is to feature uplifting, energetic and inspiring music by Three Trails West and guest performers,” Green stated.
Pastor Frank Slaughter’s inspirational message is to be “Riding with a Loose Rein, a Deep Seat and a Far Away Look.”
“After the service, there will be cowboy fellowship in the lobby with coffee, cookies and conversation aplenty,” Green promised.
“The celebration will be embracing The Cowboy Way by giving a hand up, not a hand out, by contributing a portion of the proceeds to the Tonganoxie Elementary School’s Food 4 Friends Backpack Program, supporting deserving children in need,” Green said.
“Come join us as we celebrate the American cowboy, legendary icon of yesterday and today, with family entertainment, featuring the parade, exhibitions, shows and education-insight into the life of the American cowboy. It will be an ‘unbelievable’ time,” Green insisted.
Details can be found on Green’s Facebook page.