The Duncan Banner
It’s time to get out your wide-brimmed hats and leather boots because the annual Western Spirit Celebration is on its way.
This two-day event will be bursting with activities and entertainment Friday and Saturday at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. Both days have something for everyone but will also feature events for specific groups as well.
“I’m excited about the public coming out and seeing all the museum has to offer,” said Stacy Moore, Executive Director of the Heritage Center. “We’re focusing on more of a traditional western feel this year.”
Friday is Senior Citizens Day, where the older generations will find a BINGO tent, dominoes, horseshoe tossing and a bag toss game. If you know your words, the Spelling Bee at 11 a.m. is for you and if you can spin a good tale, enter the Liar’s Contest at 2 p.m. If growing facial hair is your skill, the Mustache and Beard Contest at 4:30 p.m. is the perfect competition for you.
There will also be a healthy active living tent, where seniors can get their blood pressure, among other things, checked.
Family Day takes place on Saturday, where young and old can come together to take part in games and other activities. Moore said the games are those kids can easily participate in and will go on all day.
One of the most popular attractions for children, and even adults, every year are the longhorn cattle on site both days. There is no official cattle drive parade this year, however, they will be making a route around the Heritage Center area and be in a pen near the CTHC.
Throughout Friday and Saturday, there will be live demonstrations in blacksmithing, leather tooling, rope making, folk art painting, cheese making, weaving and millinery. Several speakers are also on the event line-up.
“We’ll have a gentleman Choctaw scout named Dave Mustapust,” said Moore. “He will talk about living in the wilderness and the skills you need.”
Plenty of vendors will be on the CTHC grounds, most selling something western-related. Many of them will be food related as well. This isn’t your normal everyday fair, but unique items to try.
“There will be things like fried bologna sandwiches and pulled pork nachos,” Moore said.
Chuckwagons will be serving a lunch of brisket, beans, biscuits and cobbler from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. This meal is not one to miss with its authentic on-the-trail atmosphere and flavor, Moore said.
Western Spirit Celebration is not an event short on entertainment. Saturday’s lineup includes Steve Ribnikar, Cliff Shelder, Buck “the Big” Man” Helton, Kenny Phipps, Duncan Dulcimers and Jessica Farmer.
Finishing the evening, there will be a free concert and dance outside under the stars featuring Cowboys & Heart at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We hope to see some people out dancing,” said Moore. “It’s supposed to be a nice fall evening.”
Saturday’s entertainment will include Food Friends & Dulcimers, Jay Snider, Daphne Hawkins and Thomas Savage & Friends. Featured will be The Belles, sisters Mary Belle and Anna Belle Wharton, who won the hearts of many with their skills on the violin. They are the winners of the most recent Duncan Little Theatre’s Duncan’s Got Talent contest.
Saturday night also finishes with a concert featuring Bennie Wheels: Walkin’ the Line, a Johnny Cash tribute band at 7:30 p.m. at the Simmons Center.
If art is what you’re looking for, an artist reception for Kristen Vails’ exhibit will be at 3 p.m. Saturday inside the Heritage Center. The Oklahoma native uses horses as the main inspiration for her artistic expression. The exhibit will be open through Oct. 25.