An official day honoring cowboys and cowgirls? You bet. On June 11th, the California legislature passed a resolution (modeled after a Federal resolution first passed in 2006) designating the fourth Saturday in July as the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl and encouraging people throughout the state “to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
Folks in Redlands are taking this resolution to heart in a big way. Rather than a day of the cowboy and cowgirl (July28th), Redlands will have a whole week’s worth of Wild West fun for cowboys and cowgirls of all ages.
Starting on Sunday, July 22nd, the historic Fox Theater will host a 50th anniversary screening of John Ford’s classic 1962 film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. The film shows at 2 p.m and 5:00 p.m.; tickets are $10. An optional dinner before the 5:00 showing is an additional $10 and for an additional $10 guests can enjoy after-show music and “boot-scootin’” to Billy Webb and the Electric Horsemen Band.
On Monday, July 23rd, Olive Avenue Market will feature live music by the Coyote Creek Ramblers, a duo performing classic Western songs in a style reminiscent of the silver screen singing cowboys. The Ramblers will perform from 7 to 9p.m.; there is no charge but seating is limited.
On Tuesday, July 24th, the AK Smiley Library will present “Write ‘em Cowboy” a panel discussion of Western literature and the writing process featuring seven Inland Empire authors. Nicolas Cataldo, Robert J. Harper, Chuck Morris, Paige M. Peyton, J.R. Sanders, Rod Thompson and Bob Wood will take part in the discussion moderated by Daniel Slota, Adult Services Librarian from 6:00-9:00 p.m. in the Assembly Room. The event is free to the public.
On Wednesday, July 25th,young cowboys and cowgirls can enjoy rootin’-tootin fun at the Frugal Frigate Children’s Bookstore’s Kids’ Corral from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Authors Erica Silverman and J.R. Sanders will sign books and do readings, kids can sing along with “Miss Katie” to Western tunes, plus try their hands at roping and cowboy crafts.
From 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tom Atchley of the Redlands Area Historical Society will conduct a walking tour of downtown State Street, focusing on the area’s development in the “Wild West” years 1880-1910. The tour’s $20 per person, and all proceeds go to Redlands High School’s historical mural project. The tour meets at Ed Hales Park, at the corner of 5th and State; admission’s payable at the start of the tour.
On Thursday, July 26th, the Eating Room will host its weekly Rustic Tea at 4:00. As part of the week’s activities, this tea will feature a display of Victorian era clothing and accessories (including “living mannequins”) by Daughters of Eve, a historical clothier. The tea is $20.00 and includes the usual array of delectable eatables. Advance reservations are required.
On Friday, July 27th, Redlands High School’s historic Clock Auditorium will play host to Under the Cowboy Moon, an evening of cowboy and cowgirl music performed by award winning western singers/songwriters Belinda Gail and Dave Stamey. Tickets are $30 per person, available online at the RHS website; proceeds benefit the school’s historical mural project. The concert starts at 7:30; doors open at 6:00 p.m. to allow guests to visit a Western Art exhibit by the Redlands Art Association, vendors, book signings and more.
On Saturday, July 28th, Barnes and Noble in Citrus Plaza will host “Read ‘em Cowboy” a book fair and Western celebration featuring book signings by over a dozen Western authors. Two of the authors – Chris Enss (an authority of women of the Wild West), Nicolas Cataldo (a local Earp historian) will give brief talks. Along with the book talks/signings, there will be book readings and other activities for children, live Western music, historical displays, a Redlands Art Association exhibit, roping demonstration and more. Activities are free to the public and a portion of book fair related sales will go to the Nonprofit National Day of the Cowboy organization.
Capping things off on Saturday evening is what might be described as the “after party” for the week – “The Crosstown Cowboys at Diamond Jim’s Saloon”. Seven members of the Western Music Association will perform on the 1880s style Opera House stage at Mill Creek Cattle Company’s Diamond Jim’s Saloon. Headlining the show will be the Cross Town Cowboys, joined by the Coyote Creek Ramblers, John Bergstrom, and Ron Christopher. The $20 admission includes an all-you-can-eat cowboy buffet ($10 for the show alone). Advanced reservations are recommended, as space is limited.