Jul 29, 2014

Calling All Cowboys: A Celebration of Cattle Ranchers

National Day of the American Cowboy was celebrated Saturday at Mountain Valley Ranch.

For the sixth year in a row, the was celebrated by Ranger Doug and many-a-cowboy and cowgirl.

The annual event, which was held at , celebrated cowboy culture with chuckwagon food, live country music and lots of vendors that cater to a cowboy's every need.

Those in attendance could walk through tables of guns, cowboy hats, embroidered clothing and hats, horseshoe art, paintings, San Diego County "Cowbelle" gear and more.

Ranger Doug, of Ranger Doug's Shootist Emporium, said he hosts this every year to bring awareness of the cowboy's history and way of life.

"If all people lived the cowboy way, we'd have a better society," Ranger Doug said. "Cowboys have a code. They respect animals, women and children."

Among the real-life cowboys at the celebration was Wrangler Dan, a fifth generation Ramonan who read his poetry aloud to the crowd. Wrangler Dan told stories of his days in Wyoming and the numerous cattle ranches he'd visted, with the people met met along the way, through rhyme and rhythm.

Various country and bluegrass bands took the stage, including the Shirthouse Band who plucked the guitar, mandoline and banjo, and The Fiddle Girl, Celia Lawley.

Southwest Ghostriders also provided some live entertainment with two reenactments of western duels, complete with guns 'n smoke.

All proceeds from the event, which is sponsored by Drew Ford and various local restaurants and stores, went to charities: both the Ramona Pioneer Historical Society and the Olaf Weighorst Museum.

Ranger Doug said the free event is more than just fun and celebration; it's a chance for outsiders to see what Ramona really has to offer.

"So many people pass through here on their way to Julian," he said. "I want people to realize Ramona is a destination spot."

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