Sedona to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy this weekend

Come watch the cowboys and horses on parade, hoot and holler for the gunfights and such, chow down on good food, put on your dancing boots and enjoy the local western band, take in some great cowboy art, have a chat with the cowboy craftsmen at work, and show off your western outfit (new or old) at the contest.

Come watch the cowboys and horses on parade, hoot and holler for the gunfights and such, chow down on good food, put on your dancing boots and enjoy the local western band, take in some great cowboy art, have a chat with the cowboy craftsmen at work, and show off your western outfit (new or old) at the contest.

SEDONA -- National Day of the Cowboy -- Saturday, July 25 -- will be celebrated with a free community event on from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. along "Main Street" (State Route 89A) and Jordan Road in Uptown Sedona.

Come enjoy "a whole lot of cowboy goin's on" on this day designated by Presidential proclamation to celebrate our cowboy heritage.

Start your morning with a Cowboy Parade at 10:30 down Jordan Road from Navahopi to Mesquite Avenue. Master of Ceremonies John Conway of audioworxx will announce the entries, including horses and cowboys, mounted shooters and mountain men, wild women and stuntmen, Cavalry and Rangers plus jeeps, stagecoaches and a carriage. The special prizes will be awarded for the best of the riders, mounted posses or groups and the wagons or stagecoaches.

Gunfights begin at high noon in Cowboy Plaza, along with gunslingin', rope tricks and whip crackin' performances throughout the afternoon until 6 p.m. Joey Dillon, three-time world champion gunslinger, will demonstrate his unique gun handling skills. Throughout the day at Cowboy Plaza, expect to see shoot-out skits, rope tricks and whip cracking performed by local residents Rock Holliday, Mike Dearden, Natalie Kurz and Rena Dearden. "Rock" (a.k.a. Gene Kurz) is also a cowboy actor and Wild West performer.

Remember to stop back at 4 p.m. for the Spirit of the West outfit contest at Cowboy Club Plaza. Judges will award three prizes in each of two categories: Youth 15 & under and Adults 16 and over.

Throughout the day and evening, there are several activities, demonstrations and live entertainment to enjoy:

• Wander south on "Main Street" (State Route 89A) to Cahill Leather and stop at True West Magazine's booth for a complimentary issue. Then take a walk on the wild side ... head down to Cheers Plaza between noon and 4:00 pm to challenge the Mechanical Bull. Tickets are only $5 each and there's sure to be plenty of action there.

• Wander back up "Main Street" and look for the Roasted Corn wagon provided by Sally's Mesquite Grill & BBQ in front of Joe Wilcox Stagecoach Emporium. Farther on at the "Mid-block crosswalk" Plaza (near the Joe Beeler statue) you can enjoy a tasty treat at the Grace's Heavenly Ices booth. Take notice of the sculpture depicting Joe Beeler - an incredibly talented artist and Sedona resident.

He was a founding member of the Cowboy Artists of America, organized right here in Uptown Sedona. It's a great spot to snap a family photo.

• As you walk along "Main Street," keep your eyes open for our own cultural heritage displayed in commemoratives of Western movies filmed in Sedona. These Hands through History plaques made of red granite are embedded in red rock concrete with the handprints or boot prints of the actors. Look for them at Matterhorn Shoppes and again at Canyon Breeze Plaza, Orchards Plaza and Cowboy Plaza, too.

• Across the street at Sinagua Plaza near Joe Wilcox Western Wear you'll find cowboy craftsmen showcasing their talent from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Steffon Dalberg of Earthwalkers from Cornville will demonstrate his leather working skills on custom made footwear and his custom boots will be available to purchase. You can visit with Stan Irick of JMK Designs from New Mexico, demonstrating antler art. Stan will be selling his hand-crafted items too.

• Make sure to stop and listen to live western music by Oak Creek Boys from 4-8 p.m. There is plenty of room to dance if you want or just sit and enjoy since they're performing outside at Canyon Breeze Plaza near the Canyon Breeze Shops and Restaurant.

Come watch the cowboys and horses on parade, hoot and holler for the gunfights and such, chow down on good food, put on your dancing boots and enjoy the local western band, take in some great cowboy art, have a chat with the cowboy craftsmen at work, and show off your western outfit (new or old) at the contest.

This event is possible because of the generous support of businesses, organizations and our media partners, plus volunteer efforts from Gene Kurz and Sedona Main Street Program. Huge thanks go to our Platinum Star sponsors: Sedona Peace of Mind Home Watch Service, Inc., Red Rock Western Jeep Tours, Joe Wilcox Western Wear & Joe Wilcox Stagecoach Emporium, Cowboy Corral Gang, and A Day in the West. Special thanks to Gold Star Sponsor - Los Abrigados Resort & Spa and to Silver Star Sponsors - Sedona Trolley and Florange Signs & Designs. We're grateful for the help of the City of Sedona, Sedona Police Department & Community Police Alliance and Sedona Volunteer Park Rangers.

Come celebrate National Day of the Cowboy. Join in recognizing cowboy character and value: honesty, integrity, courage, compassion, respect, patriotism and a strong work ethic.

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