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Bandera's National Day(s) of American Cowboy

By Mary Allyce Special to the Courier

The Frontier Times Museum predicts a great kickoff to its three-day celebration of the National Day of The American Cowboy, Friday through Sunday, July 25, 26 and 27.
A reception honoring the 2014 Texas Heroes begins at 7 pm, Friday July 27, on the grounds of the museum, 510 13th Street, in Bandera. A $35 ticket donation includes dinner prepared by barbecue master Rick Anderson, music under the stars by the Drug Store Cowboys Band and the induction program emceed by KRNH 92.3's Richard Lee.
This year, inductees into the "Texas Heroes Hall of Honor" include radio-television weathercaster and personality, Jud Ashmore, along with true cowboys and rodeo champions, Bud Fitzpatrick and Todd Whitewood. After the induction ceremony, there'll be time to enjoy the music and visit special displays featuring Ashmore, Fitzpatrick and Whitewood, as well as the permanent museum exhibits celebrating the western lifestyle.
On Saturday, events move to Mansfield Park where "The Fastest Horse In Texas" Match Races begin at 2 pm. The more entries, the more prize money to go along with the beautiful $1,400 trophy saddle. So, round up your speediest horses and race on over to enter and run for the money, the saddle and the title of "Fastest Horse In Texas."
Food and drink vendors will be on hand to keep your energy up, and clothing, jewelry and artwork will help you find your inner, and outer, cowboy - or cowgirl. The Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters will perform.
At 8 pm, the action shifts to the rodeo arena for the fast and furious South Texas Sanctioned Ranch Rodeo. Cheer on your favorite professional and local teams as they chase the championship and a spot in the finals in San Antonio. Mutton bustin' and calf scramble for the young buckaroos add to the fun and The Ranch, 92.3 KRNH, stages the finale to their "So You Wanna Be A Cowboy or Cowgirl" contest. The lucky winner will receive a horse, complete with tack, vet care and feed.
There's always room for more at the Friday evening reception for your Texas Heroes and organizers are looking for additional entries - up to 64 - for the Match Races. Call Lew Pewterbaugh at 830-328-0321 or 830-589-2286 or the museum for entry forms or tickets. "It's all about supporting the county museum," Pewterbaugh said.
Gates open at 1 pm at Mansfield Park and admission is $10 adults, and $5 for kids ages 12 years with those under five years admitted free. Parking is $5.
For more information or to purchase tickets for all events, call the Frontier Times Museum at 830-796-3864 or visit www.frontiertimesmuseum.org.
This year, the weekend stretches all the way through Sunday with a free community breakfast, beginning at 8 am at Bandera City Park, sponsored by Ridin' The River Cowboy Fellowship. A Fellowship Service follows at 9 am.
But wait, there's more! The Cattle Sorting Rodeo starts at 6 pm at Mansfield Park. This event is free and fun for the whole family.
"Come out for the whole weekend and show your support for the Frontier Times Museum, our Texas Heroes and the great icon that is the Texas American Cowboy," said an event spokesman.