A young buckaroo gets up close and personal with a lasso. Photo by Cheron Bayna Ryan
SANTA FE—Immerse yourself in cowboy culture Aug. 9-11 at the New Mexico History Museum’s Wild West Weekend, a special event celebrating the exhibition Cowboys Real and Imagined.
Cowboy musicians and poets join trick ropers, saddle makers, silversmiths and more to provide three days of hands-on fun for the whole family. The events are free; the exhibition is by regular admission (Sundays free to New Mexico residents, Friday evenings free to everyone, children 16 and under free daily.)
“We’ve seen in the exhibit how people make a connection to another way of life when they hold a lariat, hear a cowboy singer, or try to rope a dummy calf,” History Museum Director Fran Levine said. “This weekend is a chance to make even more of those connections and to experience the artistry that accompanies the practical tools of a cowboy’s life. We strongly encourage boot-scootin’.”
The weekend kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, in the History Museum auditorium with music historians Mark Lee Gardner and Rex Rideout. Using vintage instruments and historic playing styles, the duo will present a close approximation to what N. Howard “Jack” Thorp heard out on the range that inspired him to write the 1908 classic, Jack Thorp’s Songs of the Cowboys.
Come back on Saturday for a one-hour family workshop on traditional cowboy songs and some talk about the New Mexico cowboy lifestyle as presented in song.
The Palace Courtyard comes to life 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11, with demonstrators and performers sharing traditional knowledge and entertainment with roots in the past and branches in the present.
Performers include the Buckarettes and the Tumbleweeds, along with cowboy poets Mike Moutoux and Peggy Godfrey. See a Dutch-oven cooking specialist at work, check out some fancy roping skills in front of the Palace Portal, and try your hand at making a leather stamp and braiding a cinch.
Visitors can interact with Scott Green, curator of education at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, as he re-enacts the life of a historical New Mexico cowboy. Some of the finest artisans practicing old-style techniques will set up shop to show how history still sings across the wide open spaces of New Mexico.
Click here to see the events schedule.