The Duncan Banner
From art and books to games and longhorns, National Day of the Cowboy will have something for just about everyone.
Last year, the event celebrated the vaquero cowboy and this year celebrates the African American cowboys’ accomplishments from the Chisholm Trail Era to present. With the theme is Black Cowboy: Tall Tale or Top Hand. The event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.
One of the highlights will be the appearance of World Champion Roper Fred Whitfield.
“We’re really excited about Fred coming,” said Leah Mulkey, CTHC education coordinator.
“He’s back in the running for World Champion again and is taking time out of his schedule to come. It will be his first book signing for his new book.”
Whitfield is an eight-time World Champion Roper from Texas. In the arena, he is known as “The Black One.” Before him, only one black man has ever won a gold buckle and Whitfield has eight.
He will be selling and autographing his autobiography “Gold Buckles Don’t Lie: The Untold Tale of Fred Whitfield.”
Another visitor will be Wallace Moore, a professional reenactor, who will be promoting his book “Ebony Horse Soldiers.” This work tells the history of African Americans in the military during the Indian War.
This year will also be the first for the National Day of the Cowboy event to have a herd of longhorns on the property.
Following with the theme, children’s storytime will highlight Bob Lemmons, a black cowboy who tracked wild horses, and a short documentary called “African American Cowboy: The Forgotten Man” will be showing.
Ron Tarver’s photography exhibit “The Long Ride Home: The African American Cowboy Experience in American” and the art work of Robert Peterson, an African American artist of Lawton, will be on display.
Because it is National Day of the Cowboy, free admission will allow anyone entrance to the Heritage Center and plenty of games to participate in. A few of those include horseshoe tossing, pin the horn on the longhorn and a laser shooting game. Additionally, there will be face painting and an art project for young children. A game called There’s a Snake in my Boot might sound dangerous, but never fear.
“We’ll have boots lined up and bean bag snakes that they will toss into the boots,” said Mulkey.