The Cowboy Capital of the World never misses an opportunity to celebrate its western heritage, with the latest iteration taking place Labor Day weekend. The spirited three-day “Bandera Round-Up” will include a Western art show, arts and crafts vendors, cowboy activities on the courthouse lawn, a longhorn drive and parade up Main Street and a pair of ranch rodeos.
“Fandango,” an exhibit and sale featuring works from members of The Western Artists Roundup, opens with a free-to-the-public reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th St. The exhibit will continue through Sept. 27.
On Saturday, artists will demonstrate their techniques from high noon to 4:30 p.m. at the museum.
Those offering demonstrations will include David Godfrey, a working cowboy from Midlothian; watercolorist Jack Moss of Llano; second generation Texas artist Gary Ward; San Antonio’s Clyde Lewis, who volunteers annually at the San Antonio and Houston stock shows and rodeos; Doug Prine, a meticulous oil painter; Bob Penny, who creates visual stories of the Old West; and guest artist Charlie Bullock.
Demonstrations will be included in the museum’s admission prices: $4 for adults and seniors, $2 for ages 6-17, free for kids younger than 6. For more information, call 796-3864.
Recalling Bandera’s history as a staging area for cattle drives northward from the 1880s to the early 1900s, a herd of Texas longhorns will kick off the Cowboy Capital Round-Up Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. Texas’ celebrated hooved and horned icons will be followed by costumed horse units, gunfighters, covered wagons, colorful floats and rodeo clowns, among other western-themed entries.
Cowgal extraordinaire Suzie Heywood, a 2019 inductee into the Texas Heroes Hall of Honor at the Frontier Times Museum, will be the parade’s grand marshal. Heywood, a resident of Ingram, served as trail boss for a historic re-enactment trail ride that took place in 2004 along the famous Western Trail, wending its way from Bandera to Dodge City, Kansas. To not miss a beat or beast, arrive on Main Street early to take in this traditional salute to Bandera’s cherished past from the best vantage point.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Doc Nagel’s Arts & Crafts Market will be set up on Bandera’s Courthouse Square, with vendors offering Western-themed merchandise such as hats, boots, neckerchiefs and such. The day also will include a traditional on-the-trail “biscuits and gravy” breakfast, dished up by chuck wagon cookie Kelly Scott; live music; storytelling; and skits and re-enactments by the Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters at Rattle Snake Ridge, set up behind the courthouse.
Saturday evening, the action shifts to Mansfield Park on Texas 16 North, when gates open at 6 p.m. for the Frontier Times Ranch Rodeo, sponsored by Texas Hill Country Bank, Boyle’s True Value Hardware and Bandera Wine and Spirits. The patriotic grand entry begins at 7 p.m. and the arena action typically includes wild cow milking, “branding” calves by marking them with chalk, doctoring and bronc bustin’.
Li’l wranglers will hit the arena dirt as they compete in an always-popular calf scramble. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children. Parking is also $5. Tickets will be available at the Frontier Times Museum and at the gate.
The arena action continues Sunday, when the Bandera Prorodeo All Women’s Ranch Rodeo and Mutton Bustin’ concludes the 2019 Bandera Round-Up. Gates open at 6 p.m., and sign up for the mutton bustin’ event takes place from 6-6:30 p.m. Entry fee for the mutton bustin’ is $30, which includes one free adult admission. This hilarious rodeo event, meant to hone the skills of future rodeo rough stock stars, is not to be missed.
Beginning at 8 p.m., the All Women’s Ranch Rodeo will feature a rescue race, pony express, cowhide race, steer roping and steer “branding.” Major sponsor for rodeo is H-E-B Bandera County.
Admission is $10 for ages 13 and older, with children 12 and younger admitted free. Tickets will be available at the gate.