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PHOTOS: Yee-haw! Cowboy festival takes over Spallumcheen Ranch

The second annual Cowboy Festival at O’Keefe Ranch started Friday and wraps up Sunday

It was a rootin’ tootin’ good time Saturday at O’Keefe Ranch during the main day of the second annual Cowboy Festival.

Cowboys were on hand at the historic Spallumcheen ranch, demonstrating horse cutting throughout the day.

The festival began Friday, Aug. 4, with a cowboy dinner show and campfire, featuring toe-tapping music and mouthwatering food.

Saturday was jam-packed with activities for the whole family. In the morning, there was rodeo horse creation as well as a kids’ rodeo with prizes. Horse cutting demonstrations took place in three sessions, featuring Lee Poncelet, a horse trainer from Lavington for over 20 years who showed audiences how cowboys capture a cow if they need to treat it for ailments or infections.

There were also animal presentations featuring donkeys, lambs and sheep, and Ken Mather gave a presentation on Indigenous cowboy history at 3 p.m.

Multi-talented musician, storyteller and performer Duane Marchand performed live music throughout the day.

The day featured wagon rides, croquet on the mansion lawn, mini donuts served via food truck, cowboy hat and bonnet creation, old fashioned games at the quilt barn and goat petting at the goat pen.

Tonight, the ranch will wrap up its activities with a ticketed event involving cowboy poetry and music. A cowboy concert with local cowboy singers and poets Butch Falk, Gordie West, Ken Mather and Jocelyn Winterburn entertains guests from 7 to 9 p.m. There will also be a hoe-down where people can learn how to square dance and line dance.

“Last year we did that and it was extremely popular, people didn’t want us to shut it down,” said Greg Hurst, treasurer of O’Keefe Ranch, who was out enjoying the day with his border collie Piper.

“It’s just a lot of fun and it’s a great place for families, kids love the animals that we have, they’re all accessible, there’s just no better place to bring a family than out to the ranch for a day or two,” Hurst said.

Tomorrow morning will see Cowboy Church wrap up the festival. Rob Dinwoodie and his band will play some good old gospel music and share a short word, cowboy style.

READ MORE: Cowboy Festival celebrates B.C. history for long weekend in Vernon

READ MORE: Historic Spallumcheen ranch pumped for upcoming year of events

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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