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Cowboy culture captures imaginations

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:00 pm

The cowboy culture is a global favorite, celebrated as a Western version of the Knights of Round Table in leather and blue jeans.

Just ask the visitors from the Philippines, Belgium and Tennessee, who made special trips to be in Bandera on Friday and Saturday, July 26-27.

They all heard that the small town north of San Antonio is the Cowboy Capital of the World and has real cowboys, so that’s where they wanted to celebrate the National Day of the American Cowboy.

San Antonio resident Caroline Dancel came from the Philippines 14 years and was in Bandera on Saturday with family members from that nation, New Jersey and Houston to take in the festivities Bandera presented as part of the American Cowboy celebration.

“All of us are big cowboy fans from watching Westerns over the years, and we heard about this event and just had to here,” Dancel said before she, her aunt from the Philippines, and other kinfolk posed for a photo with 7-year old family member Louie Alex Chua sitting on a longhorn steer named Redneck.

A group of about 10 tourists from Belgium was captivated by a bullwhip demonstration by Western entertainer Kimmy Williams that was part of a celebration that spilled out across the grounds of the Bandera County Courthouse on Saturday, July 27.

The European visitors were wide eyed as Williams made loud cracks with the whip and showed amazing accuracy hitting targets with the tip of her bullwhip.

The Fox family from Tennessee visited San Antonio and Bandera last week and returned to Bandera Saturday after learning about the National Day of the American Cowboy.

“We came to San Antonio because our son, Martin, wanted to visit the Alamo, and we heard about this cowboy event, and Martin wanted to come back so we did,” said mom Dana Fox.

Martin Fox impressed entertainer Lee Haile by lassoing a rubber chicken in the always funny chicken roping contest.

“That’s hard to do, and you did it,” Haile said to the smiling 12-year old.

The Western themed celebration, hosted by the Bandera Business Association, included the induction of three members to the 2019 Texas Heroes Hall of Honor at the Frontier Times Museum on Friday, July 26, and a variety of cowboy offerings, including historical and hysterical things.

A fan favorite were mock shoot outs between two groups of the Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters in an area called Rattlesnake Ridge, made up to look like the center of a small, Western town.

Inducted into the museum’s Hall of Honor were rodeo champion Stephanie Byrd D’Spain, trail driver extraordinaire and the descendant of an actual boss of a historic trail drive Suzie Heywood and former Bandera County agricultural extension agent and community leader Werner Max Lindig, who died in 2011.

D’Spain and Heywood were present to receive the honors that the museum bestows on area residents who demonstrated what it meant to be a great Texan.  Lindig’s honor were received by his four daughters.

Exhibits depicting events from the lives of the inductees will be on display at the museum for a year.  The Frontier Times is at 510 13th St. in Bandera.

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