When the curtain rises on the 46th Annual Western Heritage Awards banquet at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, guests will take part in one of the Museum’s hallmark events. An expanded schedule offers activities over two days, with more opportunities for the public to meet award-winning Western authors, musicians, television and film industry professionals and celebrity guests.
First presented in 1961, the Western Heritage Awards were established to honor and encourage the legacy of those whose works in literature, music, film and television reflect the significant stories of the American West. Each Western Heritage Award winner receives the Wrangler, an impressive bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback.
Activities begin Friday evening, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. with the Jingle-Jangle Mingle, a kick-off event honoring the Western Heritage Award Winners and Hall of Fame inductees. The public is invited to take pleasure in the casual atmosphere, entertainment and hors d’oeuvres, meet
honorees and special guests, and enjoy a book and CD
autograph session. Reservations are $20 per person.
Attend special presentations beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21 with veteran stuntman and actor Dean Smith, who will host a stuntman panel, and at 1:30 p.m. with 2006 Hall of Great Western Performers inductee Buck Taylor. Included with Museum admission, these presentations will allow the public to get a look at the stories behind these Hollywood and television legends.
The pinnacle of the Western Heritage Awards weekend is the formal reception and banquet Saturday evening, April 21, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Invited co-hosts include actors Ernest Borgnine, Robert Carradine, Buck Taylor and Brad Johnson. Also presenting will be John Wayne’s granddaughter Anita La Cava Swift, western musicians Red Steagall, Don Edwards, Michael Martin Murphey and Waddie Mitchell.
In addition to honoring principal creators in 14 categories of music, literature, television and film, the Western Heritage program also recognizes inductees into the prestigious Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers as well as the recipient of the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award.
The Hall of Great Western Performers is designed primarily for actors with significant contributions to Western film, television, radio or theater. In 2007, inductees will include actors Sam Elliot and the late Steve McQueen.
Reservations are required for Jingle-Jangle Mingle and the Western Heritage Awards Banquet. Information and reservation forms are available at www.nationalcowboymuseum.org. Reservations can be made by calling (405) 478-2250, Ext. 219.