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KEY Oklahoma City

diningWhen the curtain rises on the 48th 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 that attracts guests from across the nation. Activities over two days offer opportunities for the public to meet award-winning Western authors, musicians, television and film industry professionals and celebrity guests.

New for 2009 is a Western Trunk Show featuring the retro Western couture of Rickrageous, the custom headwear of Shorty’s Caboy Hattery from Oklahoma City and the luxury Western fashions and furnishings of Rawhide based in Norman, Oklahoma. Shop April 17 and 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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 17 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, CD and DVD autograph session. Reservations are $25 per person.

The pinnacle of the Western Heritage Awards weekend is the formal reception and banquet Saturday evening, April 18, beginning at 5:00 p.m. A celebrity emcee and cohosts are always favorites at the black-tie event.

In addition to honoring principal creators in 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 named in honor of the Museum’s founder.

The Hall of Great Western Performers is designed primarily for actors with significant contributions to Western film, television, radio or theater. Inductees will include actors Morgan Woodward and the late Dub Taylor.

Rancher, businesswoman and philanthropist Anne W. Marion of Texas will be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners, as will the late Frederick Jackson Turner, a historian whose thesis on the West changed the course of study for generations.

Major Event Sponsors for the 2009 Western Heritage Awards are the Dogwood Foundation, Wrangler and Bank of Oklahoma. The Supporting Event Sponsors are Republic National Distributors and Ad Astra Foundation. Museum Partners include Devon Energy Corporation, Chesapeake Energy Corporation and the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation.

Reservations are required for Jingle-Jangle Mingle and the Western Heritage Awards Banquet. Admission to the Western Trunk Show is free. Information and reservation forms are available at For reservations call: (405) 478-2250, Ext. 219.

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