Rawhide Days festival will honor T.V. series, life in the Old West

By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer

A simple question from a local radio personality about why there was no local celebration for the local filming of “Rawhide” will culminate Friday and Saturday with the inaugural Rawhide Days festival in Tucumcari.

“It all started when I made a comment on air about why we didn’t have a local ‘Rawhide’ celebration,” said Karen Alarcon, a KTNM/KQUAY radio personality and Tucumcari resident.

Alarcon said after some planning, the event was called Rawhide Days and began as a single-day event to be held at the Tucumcari Historical Museum. She said as more planning meetings were held and word of mouth about the event began to spread, more attractions and events were added to the event. There was such an increased interest in Rawhide Days that a second day and location (Tucumcari Convention Center) were needed to hold all of the events.

Alarcon said she had no idea that a year after her comment, she would be less than three days away from a two-day event filled with events including country music, a longhorn cattle parade, Miss Rawhide Days Pageant and much more.

“I’m blown away by how well received the idea of a ‘Rawhide’ celebration was by the local residents and people from across the country,” Alarcon said.

Alarcon said she reached out to acclaimed film director and actor Clint Eastwood, whose career began as an actor in the TV series that aired from 1959 until 1965, to attend the event. She said that although Eastwood hasn’t responded, he hasn’t said “no.”

Alarcon said there would be appearances by the children of “Rawhide” series stars Eastwood as well as Sheb Wooley.

“It was a very sweet time of my father’s life,” Sheb’s daughter, Chrystie Wooley said. “I am happy to keep the memory of the show alive that was successful for my father,” said Wooley. Her father co-starred in the western TV series that was filmed near Tucumcari.

Wooley will return Friday and Saturday to be a part of the inaugural Rawhide Days.

Wooley said it was a game-changer for her father when he landed the role as scout Pete Nolan on the series. She said he got the part largely because he was a cowboy who grew up in Oklahoma and he also taught Clint Eastwood how to ride a horse.

Alarcon said she contacted Eastwood’s daughter, Kimber Eastwood, a noted producer and make-up artist, who will be attending the Rawhide Days event. She said Kimber Eastwood has an impressive and successful career on her own, notwithstanding being the daughter of such a famed actor and director.

“Having Chrystie and Kimber attend the event is a tremendous honor,” Alarcon said.

Chrystie Wooley will be one of the performers of the Next Generation Band: Sons and Daughters of Country Legends set to perform on Friday during Rawhide Days. Robyn Young, son of Faron Young and Jett Williams, Hank Williams’s daughter, will also perform on Friday as well as Luke Reed of Santa Fe, cowboy poet and singer Mike Moutoux of Silver City.

List of events and performers:

Thursday
1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Free showing of Rawhide Series, Historic Odeon Theater.

Friday
Noon- sunset
Historic Odeon Theater
1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Free showing of Rawhide Series.
Tucumcari Convention Center
• Russell Tiner’s World Famous Longhorns Photo Op.
• Demonstrations from award winning, world-class farrier and blacksmith Jim Kieth.
• Food vendors
• Mechanical bull
• Wagon and carriage rides
• Noon, New Mexico’s Enchanting Cowboy, Mike Moutoux
• 2 p.m., Nationally renowned trick roper Brice Chapman
• 2:30 p.m., music from the Crazy Cowboy from Sedan, Forrest Mackey
• 4 p.m., local gunfighters show with the “Liberators.”
• 8 p.m., Next Generation Band: Sons and Daughters of County Legends, Luke Reed of Santa Fe, cowboy poet and singer New Mexico’s Enchanting Cowboy, Mike Moutoux of Silver City.

Saturday
10 a.m. – Sunset
Historic Route 66
• 10 a.m., Old West Parade featuring Wes Sanders’ Longhorn Cattle Drive.
Historic Odeon Theater
1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Free showing of Rawhide Series.
Tucumcari Convention Center
• Russell Tiner’s World Famous Longhorns Photo Op.
• Posse Scavenger hunt
• Bull whip demos
• Wagon and carriage rides
• Food vendors
• Mechanical bull
• 11 a.m., music from Gary Reynolds
• 11:30 a.m., Miss Rawhide Days Pageant
• 12: 30 p.m., Nationally renowned trick roper Brice Chapman
• 1:15 p.m., gunfighter show with the New Mexico Gunfighters Association
• 2 p.m., music from the Crazy Cowboy from Sedan, Forrest Mackey
Tucumcari Historical Museum
• Demonstrations from award winning, world-class farrier and blacksmith Jim Kieth.
• Dutch Oven cooking demonstrations.
• Chuck Wagon cooking.
• Field dressing demonstration.
• 11 a.m., music from Luke Reed of Santa Fe.
• 1 p.m., Kids Games.
• 3 p.m., music and poetry from New Mexico’s Enchanting Cowboy, Mike Moutoux.
• 3:30 p.m., Gun Historian Rodney Linkous
• 4 p.m., gunfighter show with the New Mexico Gunfighters Association

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