Day of the Cowboy coming to Victoria

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Victoria is readying itself for one of its favorite celebrations — the fourth annual National Day of the Cowboy.

The event will be held throughout the town from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, with many of the activities and vendors at Victoria Railroad Park.

The town has the schedule of events on its website.

Activities will kick off that morning with a parade of event participants down Main Street to the park.

Town officials are warning everyone to be prepared because “shootouts could happen at any time or in a variety of places.” But for those who don’t want to miss them, cowboy shootouts are scheduled for 11 a.m. at the bandstand in Railroad Park, 1:30 p.m. outside the town office on Main Street, and at 3 p.m. at the Community Centre on 6th Street.

Meanwhile, craft vendors will be at the Community Centre on 6th Street all day.

Among the entertainers will be Rebecca Bryant, Monacan Youth Indian Dancers and the Victoria Restaurant House Band.

The Monacan Indian events will include the sale of handmade Native American Crafts from 10 a.m. until noon in the park, and Monacan Indian dancers from 11 a.m. until noon at the bandstand in park.

There will also be a BBQ cook off, games, horseback riding and a dunk tank.

The kids corner will include a cat fishing pond, archery for those between 9- and 18-years old; panning for gold, compliments of Southern Virginia Gold Miners, and a bouncy house.

Also, the “General Lee” car from “The Dukes of Hazzard” television series will be there, and the Hammond Family Indian Teepee Display will be on 6th Street.

At 2:30 p.m. there will be a drawing for a Ruger Revolver in the Community Centre.

Immediately following the end of the Day of the Cowboy sponsored activities, there will be live bull riding by ‘Let R Buck’ bull riding school in the park. Tickets for the event can be pre-ordered at a discount for $8 online or at the gate that day of at $10. Late last year, town officials explained that they see the Day of the Cowboy as something for the community, as well as a way to attract tourists and their dollars to the area.

“Each year it seems to get a little bigger,” Theresa Beckett, who will handle the planning for the town, said at the time.

Interim Town Manager Rodney Newton noted while it may not make money, it attracts people who “eat in the restaurants … (and) buy gas.”

Mayor Carol Watson added, “They are a great organization. They don’t just come in here; they are great friends.”

The National Day of the Cowboy is a 501c3 organization established in June 2005, to secure permanent status for the fourth Saturday in July as a day to celebrate cowboy culture and pioneer heritage.

To date, 11 state legislatures have passed the National Day of the Cowboy permanently into law, including Virginia, said Bethany Braley, the group’s executive director.

Several other states have bills sponsored “and (we) hope to see our bill passed in those states in 2017,” she said.

“We also focus on letting folks know there is such a day and encouraging them to celebrate,” Braley said.

Last year there were over 50 events in the U.S. including at least three in Virginia — in Amelia Court House, Ruther Glen and Victoria, Braley said. Celebrations also occur in other countries, such as England and Canada.

“These events are family oriented and typically include educational elements with respect to the role of the cowboy and cowgirl in our economy, literature, ranching, poetry, film, sport, art, et cetera,” Braley said.