By Valley Ag Voice Staff

National Day of the Cowboy, on the fourth Saturday in July, celebrates the hardworking symbol of the American West and a past not too far gone.

Before all 50 states were even formed, ranchers and cowhands were working herds in the American West — roping and riding, herding cattle on horseback, and camping under the stars. The National Day of the Cowboy is a time to celebrate the enduring spirit and legacy of cowboys in American culture.

Falling on July 27 this year, there are several ways to celebrate and reflect on the longstanding symbol of the West — from a Western movie marathon to showing support for local ranchers.

BURNIN’ DAYLIGHT

Celebrating National Cowboy Day is as simple as gathering around the TV for a day filled with classic Western films. There are plenty of options to choose from as it’s estimated that up to 40% of all films made before 1960 were Westerns.

Several popular films were shot in or include scenes in Kern County including “Stagecoach” and “The Phantom of the West.”

Other classic films to burn the daylight away with include:

  • The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
  • Tombstone
  • True Grit
  • Rio Bravo
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • The Quiet Man

WHISTLE DIXIE

While not exactly a cowboy ballad, attending a country concert is a great way to celebrate the influence cowboys had on the industry.

Visiting the local honkytonk offers plenty of music options with up-and-coming artists and local favorites. For those near Bakersfield, Rooster’s Honky Tonk is open with live country music Wednesday – Saturday with doors opening at 4 p.m.

DON’T PULL A NO-SHOW AT A NATIONAL RODEO

The Country Rodeo Finals will take place on July 27 — aptly so — through the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, California. The rodeo will be hosted at the Main Grandstand Arena at 7 p.m., offering an opportunity to see the hard work of the best and brightest cowboys and cowgirls.

Events include match roping, team penning, double mugging, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bronc riding, and bull riding.

SUPPORT LOCAL

The best way to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy is to support local ranchers and purchase locally sourced beef and dairy products. Ranchers work tirelessly in often unforgiving environments and against mounting regulatory pressures.

Celebrating the cowboy way of life goes hand in hand with supporting the individuals who continue to live and work as ranchers today.

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