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KEY Oklahoma City

One of the nation's greatest family friendly festivals returns to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, May 28 and 29. The Museum's 15th Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children's Cowboy Festival on Memorial Day weekend was recognized by the American Bus Association as a 2004 Top 100 Event in North America. The festival’s mouth-watering food, activities for children, musical entertainment and opportunity to browse the nation's premier Western heritage museum attracted the attention of the Food Network which last year featured the festival on “Top Five: Summer Sensations.”

The food is fantastic! Ten chuck wagon crews cook such delicious fare as stew, brisket, sourdough biscuits, beans, cobblers and rice pudding for visitors to sample. Recipes are prepared hourly at a demonstration wagon and the recipes are available.

Children can participate in numerous outdoor activities including pony rides, rope making, weaving, bandana designing and leather crafting. Stagecoach and covered wagon rides around the festival oval are popular. Wheelwright and wagon master Gary Stull, Cape Fair, Missouri, will share his trade through demonstrations on making wagon wheels.

Western music and entertainment are scheduled on two separate stages. Cowboy balladeer, guitarist and composer Don Edwards will be on stage Saturday, May 28. Red Steagall will perform Sunday, May 29.

Steagall, who has performed at the Chuck Wagon event since 1991, was inducted into the Museum's prestigious Hall of Great Westerners in 2003.

Back again for a Saturday-only performance are the delightful and captivating young, Texas fiddlers The Quebe Sisters. This year the talented trio has added singing to their lively fiddling act.

Chuck Milner, cowboy singer, poet and song writer will entertain and introduce other performers on the stage at the south end of the festival grounds. Milner has entertained at the gathering since its inception. New to the entertainment stage this year is Texas trio Back at the Ranch, a lively country-roots acoustic group that delivers a swinging blend of original and roots-based music.

Admission covers entrance to the festival and the Museum. Museum members are admitted free. Adults are $10; seniors 62 and over $8.50; and children 6-12 $5. Children ages five and under also are admitted free. Two-day passes are available. Concessions and tasting bowls are additional, with tasting bowls $3 each. Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the Museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The festival is presented by Delta Air Lines in conjunction with Dobson Communications. Cosponsors include Devon Energy Corporation, The Oklahoman, Great Plains Coca-Cola and OG&E. Additional support provided by Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Inc., Tandy Leather Company, KKNG 93.3 FM, Bar-S Foods, Sara Lee Bakery Group, Shawnee Milling Co., Oklahoma Ford Dealers, Collins Creek Ranch and Marianne’s Rentals.

The National Cowboy Museum marks its 50th anniversary in 2005 with special exhibitions and activities. Nationally accredited, the Museum is located in Oklahoma City's Adventure District at the junction of I-44 and I-35. Annual memberships include year-round admission for six people, including the Chuck Wagon Gathering. For more information, call (405) 478-2250.





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