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Culture, skill and entertainment will be in abundance at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum’s (NMFRHM) 2rd annual Cowboy Days celebration, which will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road.
Admission is $10 per carload, the museum said in a news release.
This year marks the return of the Castro family performance group of Lienzo Charro El Pedregal in Vado, New Mexico, NMFRHM said. Daniel Castro and several family members will perform trick roping and traditional charreada demonstrations 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 2:30-3:15 p.m. on Saturday.
“Charreada is a festive event that features a variety of equestrian activities as well as costumes and music that bring a uniquely Latino culture to a sport that has its roots in Spain,” the news release said.
“The best part of what we do is that we’re able to do it as a family,” Castro said. “My kids are by my side learning part of our culture and tradition through our shows. It’s important to us to keep our heritage alive for future generations.”
Seating is limited for the charreada performances in the round pen.
The Parade of Breeds cattle program is a staple of Cowboy Days. NMFRHM Livestock Manager Greg Ball brings six breeds of beef cattle into the round pen to discuss their history and characteristics 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Linda McDaniel of Alamogordo will be at Cowboy Days with her working dogs, who will demonstrate herding at 10 a.m., noon and 3:30 p.m.
Pony rides for children, priced at $5, will be 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., with limited tickets available.
Horseshoeing demonstrations will be held 10-10:30 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m., and chuckwagon cooking, blacksmithing and fiber arts demonstrations will take place throughout the day. The local chapter of Back Country Horsemen will do horse care demonstrations such as saddling and grooming, at 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Cowboy Days guests can enjoy the music of Las Cruces’ Neal McCowan 12:30-3:30 p.m., have lunch at participating food trucks and shop at craft booths and the museum plant sale.
Ollie Reed of the Western Writers of America will do a presentation in the museum theater at 2 p.m. A New Mexico journalist since 1976, Reed received the 2016 Rounders Award, which is presented by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to those who "live, promote and articulate the western way of life."
Reed also will do a presentation at the museum at 2 p.m. Friday, March 3. This special “school day” of Cowboy Days is for several hundred area school children touring the museum and visiting about 20 educational activity stations, NMFRHM said.
Presenters on March 3 will include are musicians and storytellers Crow and Karla of Las Cruces, Fort Selden State Historic Site, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service master gardeners, Back Country Horsemen, Mesilla Valley Cowbelles, High Noon Leather, City of Las Cruces Museums, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Asombro Institute, Doppler Dave Speelman from KVIA-TV in El Paso, New Mexico Ag in the Classroom and fiber arts demonstrations by NMFRHM volunteers.
A highlight on Friday, March 3 is the Sheep to Shawl program, with sheep shearing most of the day, beginning at 10 a.m.
The public is invited to enjoy the educational activity stations, the sheep shearing plant sale, and see the museum’s exhibits and livestock on March 3. Regular admission applies: $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for children ages 4-17.