Boots? Check. Cowboy hat? Check. Old West spirit? Check.
Aficionados of all things western will celebrate the return of Old West Cowboy Days after a six-year hiatus during a day-long festival Sept. 5 in Ottawa, Kansas.
“The cowboy culture is not dead,” organizer Peach Madl said. “From campfires to cattle drives to concerts, we wanted to bring people together to celebrate the western way of life.”
A kick-off to the event is the Bourbon Train ride on the Kansas Belle Dinner Train at 7 p.m. Sept. 4. Passengers will ride from Baldwin City to Norwood while enjoying five unique bourbon tastings and appetizers. They’ll also experience an old-time wagon ride and a roaring campfire with a Western theme. For more information and to make reservations, contact the Kansas Belle Dinner Train at (785) 594-8505.
Want to see dozens of Longhorn cattle being driven down Ottawa’s Main Street? Don’t miss the cattle drive at 10 a.m. Sept. 5. The drive is sponsored by the Plaza Cinema and Burkdoll Brothers of Garnett, Kansas.
Participants can enjoy many other activities throughout the day in and outside of Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St., including vendors, Wild Women of the West, local horse breeds, a horse video and a barbecue dinner. Miniature horses will be on display from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. outside of the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, as well an opportunity to take photos with CoCo Chanel, a live “unicorn.”
Activities around the city of Ottawa include an exhibit at the Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St.; western movies and a Buffalo Bill exhibit at the Plaza Cinema, 209 S. Main St.; a shooting presentation by the Lebo 4-H club at The Gun Guys, 412 S. Main St.; and carriage rides throughout downtown Ottawa.
The night will conclude with performances by the Travis Marvin Band and Rusty Rierson, plus recognition of the Kansas Cowboy of the Year, all at Ottawa Municipal Auditorium.
Don’t forget to follow the festivities on Facebook at Ottawa Cowboy Days and on Twitter @Ottawakscowboy. Use hashtags #ottawaks and #ottawacowboy throughout the day!
For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.explorenekansas.com.