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Bandera ‘Celebrates’ Western heritage

By Judith Pannebaker

Despite being preceded by an unpropitious fire that gutted two historic buildings on Main Street, Labor Day weekend’s homage to the Cowboy Capital of the World, “Celebrate Bandera,” went off without a hitch, according to event coordinator Genie Strickland.

The event is produced annually by the Bandera Community Foundation. For the most part, Bandera’s luck weather-wise held during the three-day event - with the exception of an unexpected cloudburst Saturday afternoon that scattered patrons and vendors at the arts and crafts fair.

Lessons learned while celebratin’ the town’s western heritage included - horses and camels don’t mix, even teeny, tiny dromedaries tend to set off the cowboy’s favorite form of transportation; in the quintessential struggle between man and beast, even when they “lose,” the bulls always win; despite unforgiving concrete, Native Americans can dance for hours; the Texas flag is displayed with the white field on top; no one offers commentary on the western way of life better than Red Steagall; the KOWS concert series, also a feast for dancin’ feet, delivered the best music ever; adding a shot of Tito’s to Bandera Boot Beer would make a great Cowboy Capital Cocktail, and, let’s face it, “nothin’s more funner than being a cowboy” - if not for a lifetime, then for a weekend, at least.

With dismal skies and deserted streets, Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, seemed kind of sad. A few stragglers visited shops along Main Street, making last minute purchases - and, no doubt, plans to return to the Cowboy Capital next year.

Without a doubt, Strickland will pull the perfect something out from under her big, wide-brimmed cowgal hat that’ll knock the boots off anyone attending the 2008 “Celebrate Bandera.” Meanwhile, in the words of National Professional Bull Rider’s funny man, Scott Messina, “I’ll be in the barrel.”