Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Thomas Garcia
Senior Writer 

City celebrates Rawhide Days

The gathering drew over 2,500, according to event coordinator.


May 10, 2017

Thomas Garcia

Onlookers take pictures as members of the Chain Ranch, Canton Oklahoma, lead a herd of longhorns on a cattle drive during Saturday's parade.

Reconnecting with locals, meeting new people and being part of the Old West makes Tucumcari feel like home, according to Shirley Brinegar.

Brinegar, the widow of Paul Brinegar, was one of the returning family members of characters from the TV series 'Rawhide,' that was celebrated last weekend in Tucumcari.

The second annual Rawhide Days festival was held Thursday-Saturday, drawing in more than 2,500 people throughout the weekend, said Karen Alarcon, event coordinator.

Alarcon said this year, the bulk of the events took place at the Tucumcari Convention Center and the Quay County Fair Barn. She said stretching out the venues was the only way to make room for all of the events.

"While the event was a success, we learned a lot from the event and have already begun planning to make next year's event even better," Alarcon said.

Brinegar said she enjoyed coming back to Tucumcari where she had the opportunity to reminisce about her late husband and share time with her family and friends in the town she considers a second home.

"Mother has been talking about coming back to Tucumcari for a year," said Mark Brinegar, Shirley's son.

He said that his mother began to show her excitement even more when they began to confirm the flight, car rental and hotel reservations for the trip.

"I have done a lot of things in my life, but I have never felt more alive than I do right now," Mark Brinegar said during the Rawhide Days parade.

"The feeling of being at the event with the people was exactly the same wonderful feeling I had walked away with last year," said Chrystie Wooley, daughter of Sheb Wooley, Rawhide actor.

Wooley said she felt right at home being back in Tucumcari, taking to heart what a local resident told her: "I know Nashville, Tennessee, but you have a second home here and people who love you."

"It is hard to explain; it fills my soul back up, and it is hard to leave Tucumcari," Wooley said. "It was almost impossible for me to leave to get back into the swing of regular life."

Wooley said being in Tucumcari for Rawhide Days is a sweet spot of life.

It's about not stressing and reminds her of a simpler time, adding that she loved the spirit of the people, how polite the children were and how they were so engaged in life.

"My hat's off to the parents; the children were so wonderful, and they were not glued to the electronics," Wooley said. "It was wonderful to see how the children were and how respectful they were when talking to people."

Wooley said the people in Tucumcari work harder, have so much passion, and you can see that it's real and not phony. She said her parents always carried that same spirit, being around the people at Rawhide Days reminds her of being at home.

"It was a wonderful event," said Dean Miller, son of Country Music Hall of Famer Roger Miller.

Dean Miller was one of the performers of the Sons and Daughters of Country Legends featured during Friday's concert. Wooley, Jett Williams, daughter of Hank Williams, and Donnie Winters also performed.

"It was an honor to play with some of my favorite people at Rawhide Days," Winters said. He said he and his wife, Paula, visited the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce and purchased the Tucumcari CD.

"We played the CD all the way back to Amarillo," Winters added. " I can't wait to come back and see my new friends."

Alarcon said adding more events and attractions may have created more issues to deal with, but in the end, it was worth the stress.

"I really can not say enough about the volunteers and our sponsors," Alarcon said. "They helped me to bring a dream to life last year and made this year's event so amazing."


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