By Thomas Garcia
Senior Writer 

Rawhide Days kicks off Thursday

Events are at the convention center, county fair barn.


May 3, 2017

File photo

"Rollin' rollin' rollin', get them doggies rollin', Rawhide," Cowboys of the Chain Ranch in Canton, Oklahoma, lead a cattle drive of Longhorn cattle along Route 66 during last year's Rawhide Days event in Tucumcari. This year's event will take place Thursday-Saturday at the Tucumcari Convention Center and Quay County Fair Barn.

There is still time to hit the trail to enjoy live music, a longhorns cattle drive, gunfights and much more this weekend at the second annual Tucumcari Rawhide Days.

The three-day event celebrates the spirit of the Old West and the local connection to the filming of the classic western TV series "Rawhide."

Last year's event drew more than 2,000 people to Tucumcari, including Shirley Brinegar, widow of Paul Brinegar; Kimber Eastwood, daughter of Clint Eastwood and Chrystie Wooley, daughter of Sheb Wooley, who all starred on the TV series. The three were treated as Rawhide Days royalty and took part in various events.

"It is an honor to welcome back Kimber Eastwood, Chrystie Wooley and Shirley Brinegar and their families to Tucumcari for this year's event," said Karen Alarcon, event founder and coordinator.

Alarcon said planning for the second annual Rawhide Days began shortly after the conclusion of last year's event. She said the overwhelming success of the inaugural event has pushed her and a dedicated group of volunteers to make this year's event even better.

Alarcon said several new activities have been added to the two-day event, including a blacksmith competition that will feature contestants from the area and across the country. She said the contest is being coordinated by internationally renowned farrier and local resident Jim Keith. The contest will be judged by three expert blacksmiths.

Opening ceremonies will be held 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Thursday at the Tucumcari Historical Museum with music, food and fellowship services with local churches.

On Friday and Saturday, events will be held at the Tucumcari Convention Center and Quay County Fair Barn and will include the Miss Rawhide Days pageant, the Lil Miss Rawhide and the Lil Wrangler contest. Live music will also be included by artists Mike Moutoux and Randy Huston, Tucumcari Crossroads and Gary Reynolds. There will be performances by trick ropers Brice and Grace Chapman as well as gunfighter shows by the local gunfighter group, The Liberators.

There will be chuck wagon cooking samples and vendor and food booths with free admission Friday and Saturday for the day events. The Odeon Theater will hold free showings of the Rawhide series from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Alarcon said there will be a parade on Saturday featuring the return of the Longhorn Cattle Drive by Chain Ranch, Canton Oklahoma and photo opportunities with Longhorns "Casino" and "Vegas" from the Cross T Ranch in Bandera, Texas. She said the Longhorns were a huge success at last year's event.

Alarcon said on Friday and Saturday night, there will be concerts with musical performances, including Sons and Daughters of Country Legends, Mikki Daniel and Texas Wildfire, Eleven Hundred Springs and Micheal Smotherman. She said Wooley and Jett Williams, daughter of Hank Williams, are two of the returning music artists with the Sons and Daughters of Country Legends, along with first time performances by Dean Miller, son of Roger Miller, and Donnie Winter, son of Don Winters.

"We have been working so hard to make this year's event something to remember," Alarcon said. "Days away from the event, it feels like there is so much that still needs to be done."

Alarcon said the backbone of this event is the volunteers who have worked countless hours, planning, preparing and coordinating during the event. She said it's hard to believe that all of this started two years ago with her asking the simple question, "Why we don't have a local Rawhide celebration?"

Friday and Saturday nights concerts are $35 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

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