MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 25, 2013

Pryor salutes Old West

Cowboy Trade Days celebration this weekend


— The history of the American West will come alive in Pryor with the American Cowboy Trade Days and Celebration of the American Cowboy today through Sunday.

Organizers say the fun-filled family event helps preserve and honor America’s cowboys and the Western and Native American heritage.

The event, now in its eighth year, is growing in popularity, according to Ivan Pace, the event’s director and founder.

Pace, an Old West storyteller and Trade Days marshal, said in a media release that the event “has enjoyed steady growth since its beginning. Today it is the largest celebration of its type in Oklahoma.”

Barbara Hawkins, the president of the Pryor Chamber of Commerce, said about 100 vendors from more than 15 states are expected to attend the festivities.

“Along with lots of food from traditional festival fare to barbecue and campground favorites, visitors will enjoy impromptu musical entertainment, Western music, pony rides, cowboy poetry, re-enactments, gunfights and more,” Hawkins said in the release.

“Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to trade, buy and sell Old West, cowboy and Native American memorabilia including guns of the Old West, period clothes, spurs, saddles, tack, boots, hats, soaps, homemade quilts, ropes, leather items, cowboy crafts, Western home décor and more.”

The event takes place in conjunction with the National Day of the American Cowboy, started in 2004 by American Cowboy magazine.

The festivities take place each day from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. at Pryor’s 24-acre Whitaker Park, at 200 S. Coo-Y-Yah St.

“You won’t want to miss the free cowboy breakfast Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., and the cowboy church service on Sunday morning at 10,” Pace said.