FREE Family Fun Celebrating the Cowboys of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow at The Briscoe
Celebrate the legacy of the cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero with FREE family fun at the Briscoe Western Art Museum’s National Day of the Cowboy celebration Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the museum’s campus on the banks of the River Walk. The free community event includes free admission to the museum and its exhibitions, as well as indoor and outdoor activities. Cowboys of all ages can enjoy live music, games, crafts, a chuck wagon with tasty cowboy treats straight from the trail, artist demonstrations and hands-on fun. Pre-register in advance to enjoy all of the free cowboy fun.
One of the Briscoe’s most treasured annual events, National Day of the Cowboy highlights and preserves America’s cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. The day began in 2005 to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the American cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero in the United States. The state of Texas declared it a day of honor in 2015 and the Briscoe annually hosts a free community day marking the occasion, throwing open the doors of the museum to honor the cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero in us all.
The museum’s National Day of the Cowboy Celebration includes:
- Free event and museum admission and activities for the whole family, including the museum’s 14 galleries and the McNutt Sculpture Garden.
- Cowpoke games and crafts, where you can outfit yer’self in a cowboy hat and spurs, try your hand at silversmith etching, make a stick pony and try out some barrel racing, learn how to rope and ride, learn how to braid leather, do a little bull riding, toss horseshoes, craft your own sculpture and more.
- Demonstrations of how to craft the essential tools of the cowboy trade by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association:
- See the leather work and tooling that goes into making a saddle with saddle maker Troy West.
Learn the art of rawhide braiding from braider Leland Hensley.
- Watch forger and engraver Wilson Capron design and engrave bits, spurs and more.
- Lasso up a ton of fun with local rodeo cowboys and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and watch roper Kevin Fitzpatrick dazzle and delight with roping demonstrations.
- See Western art brought to life through a live sculpting demonstration by Jason Scull, one of the Cowboy Artists of America working to authentically preserve the culture of Western life through fine art.
- Lil Partners Reading Zone featuring the stories of Mary Fields, the first African American woman stagecoach driver, and Cathay Williams, aka William Cathay, the only known female Buffalo Soldier. For many years, Fields traveled the West with her pet eagle, never losing a single horse or package. Hear her story as Antoinette Lakey reads from “Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver”. Lakey will also share Cathay Williams’ story. A community leader, researcher, and dramatist, Antoinette Lakey currently serves as Artistic Director for Teatro Anansi, an organization with a mission to connect, celebrate and commemorate African American theatre, performing arts and history within the greater San Antonio community.
- Chuck wagon cooking with samples of peach cobbler and beans, along with food truck grub available to satisfy any hungry cowpokes.
- Surrounded by the beauty of the garden’s fantastic bronze sculptures and lush greenery, celebrate the vaqueros and vaqueras of the West to the music of Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto Siempre. Led by the one and only Reina Del Acordeón, Ybarra takes fans through conjunto, mariachi, and to the edge of jazz with a passion that translates across generations. Her powerful voice and soul-playing accordion style have made her a legend in conjunto music. Ybarra is an NEA National Heritage Fellow, 2022 Texas State Musician, and multi-time Hall-of-Famer.
- Enjoy music throughout the museum as singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Clint Tomerlin fills the galleries with cowboy tunes.
- See the West and the world of the cowboy through the fantastic works featured in the Briscoe’s summer exhibition, Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch. One of the most powerful and influential art dealers in the Southwest, Horwitch was responsible for launching the careers of hundreds of artists and was a leader in fostering “new Western art” or “Southwest pop.”
Celebrate All Things West All Year Long
From its McNutt Sculpture Garden to the museum’s beautifully restored historic home inside the former San Antonio Public Library building, the Briscoe’s collection spans 14 galleries, with special exhibitions, events and a fantastic Museum Store, providing art, culture, history and entertainment. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online.