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Preserving Western culture through 'National Day of the Cowboy'

The Concho Valley is home to Western culture and Fort Concho prepares for its annual event.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — In the Concho Valley, the Western culture is preserved through its history and traditions. For the last decade, the National Day of the Cowboy has been celebrated at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark. 

Long ago, the land was used as a headquarters for frontier units like the fourth and 10th cavalry. But now, Fort Concho is used to teach history and the Western way of life. 

“If you don't know your past, you have no present and then the future is going to be pretty foggy,” Fort Concho Site Manager Bob Bluthardt said. 

This weekend, the past comes to life on National Day of the Cowboy. It is a day to honor the contributions of the American cowboy to our culture. 

“You don't have to go very far in this town to see a little bit of the cowboy culture from spur makers, boot makers, saddle makers, clothing stores,” Roger Banks said. 

As a child, Roger Banks always dreamed of being a cowboy. 

“I remember sitting in church and drawing out how my favorite ranch would look when I grew up so I’ve always been infatuated with the cowboy life,” Banks said. 

Banks has been participating in National Day of the Cowboy since its inception, he was even in the Western entertainment industry. He is also a member of the Concho Cowboy Company. 

“I’ve been involved in a very long, long time and I just love the history, it’s one of my favorite parts of history,” Banks said. 

That history will be brought to life at Fort Concho with some help from the Concho Cowboy Company. 

“It’s just a form of recognition to not let any of this go away, not let it die to keep the history alive,” Vice President of Concho Cowboy Company Karen “Madam Sunshine” Smith said. 

National Day of the Cowboy will also feature an art show, gunfight show and guest speaker at Fort Concho from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 23. 

The event is free for all. For more information visit fortconcho.com

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