Edgewood’s Cowboy Days – June 15-25, 2017

The Old West isn’t truly gone, it returns to Edgewood, NM, each June when Founders Ranch becomes the epicenter of End of Trail, the World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting, and Wildlife West begins its Chuckwagon Supper Shows (Saturday nights, June 17-Sept 2) and festivals that celebrate the music, arts and heritage of  New Mexico. Many other events and activities are taking place throughout the region, making Cowboy Days are great way to kick off summer fun!

This year marks the 36th Annual End of Trail Gathering. Hundreds of men, women and teen participants and their families travel from the far reaches of the globe to compete for top honors in timed scenarios. The sport of Cowboy Action Shooting not only tests competitors’ skills with a handgun or rifle, but requires them to take a step back in time. Participants are Old West aficionados, competing in period-correct costumes, using firearms typical of the 19th century, and sporting SASS aliases reminiscent of the Wild West. Oh, and that parasol-toting sweetie who catches your fancy – well, she may just outshoot you on the range.

Wildlife West Nature Park is a non-profit rescue zoo featuring native New Mexican wildlife and home to the best darn Chuck Wagon Supper Show in Central New Mexico (every Saturday night all summer long). Visit the park to safely experience wildlife up close, including coyote, roadrunner, pronghorn and raptors (birds of prey).  Learn about these magnificent animals and birds through their educational presentations. This year, Wildlife West has added Kid Goat Yoga –a bucket list experience– its available now through July 2 only.

Edgewood’s Trinkets & Treasures Trail can easily be a day-long adventure of treasure trekking from shop to shop with more than 30 vendors and artisans selling unique finds, collectibles, antiques, art and western gear.  Believe it or not, this little hamlet is also home to not one, but two of New Mexico’s “Best of” foods: Gino’s Pizza Barn was voted New Mexico’s Best Pizza (and it is, hands down) and Katrinah’s East Mountain Grill boasts New Mexico’s Best Breakfast Burrito. Two other local favorites are Dough Re Mi Café & Bake Shop and Chili Hills Restaurant.

But, if your interest in horsepower comes in the big block, V8 form, the 14th Annual Father’s Day Car Show (June 18) will be just what Doc Holiday ordered. The show draws top-notch entries and enthusiasts from the entire Four Corners region. And, because Edgewood lies along Historic Route 66, you can continue your motor-themed adventure by cruisin’ Old 66 to discover why this stretch is known as “Retribution Road.” Head east along 66 (aka NM 333) and you’ll find numerous original buildings including a trading post, gas stations and motels just one town over in Moriarty, NM.

As an equestrian- and outdoor-friendly community, Edgewood boasts miles of hike-bike-ride trails connecting beautiful, tree covered open spaces with sweeping views and community destinations — even the WalMart has a hitching post out back. Hike-Bike-Ride the Greenside anytime of year.

Spectators for Cowboy Action Shooting are invited out to the beautiful Founders Ranch on June 23 & 24 for public days. The ranch is tucked into a picturesque valley with views of the surrounding hillsides and mountains, making it easy to get caught up in the Old West spirit while walking the ranch’s dusty main street, complete with busy shops including a mercantile, gun smith, and saloon. A charming white clapboard-sided chapel sits up on a hill, and has hosted cowboy nuptials on more than one occasion.

Experience Edgewood — just 25 minutes east of Albuquerque and 50 minutes south of Santa Fe, it’s easy to head out and enjoy Edgewood’s Cowboy Days spirit (June 15-25; main events on weekends). Plans include special fun and entertainment for visitors, who just might be invited to roll the dice or draw for high at local businesses to obtain special deals. It’s all in keeping with the Cowboy theme and the town’s own history (in Edgewood’s brief 18-year history, two elections have actually been decided by high card draw!).

Cowboy Days activities and events are posted online and SASS will post End of Trail schedules and activities.

By Linda Burke, Edgewood Chamber of Commerce