Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Cowboy Gala July 23 kicks off National Day of the American Cowboy

Fort Worth’s A-listers will be scooting their boots into Cowtown Coliseum on July 23 as they arrive for the fourth annual American Cowboy Gala.

The gala is the kickoff for the National Day of the American Cowboy weekend festivities on the lawn of the Fort Worth Livestock Exchange building and along Exchange Avenue. The event celebrates the history and heritage of the American cowboy and Fort Worth. Lots of free family fun will include a parade, cowboy contests (including the popular cow-chip-throwing competition) and entertainment.

Guests at the gala will enjoy cocktails, dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions and an entertaining show. John Chase and the late Diann Chase of Autobahn Motorcar Group will be recognized for their continuous support of the Fort Worth Herd program and dedication to the Texas longhorn breed.

“The American Cowboy Gala is proud to honor John and the memory of Diann Chase at this year’s event,” said Pam Minick, president of Friends of the Fort Worth Herd. “Diann was a steadfast champion for youth and believed that all young people should be able to receive a college education if they desire one.” Minick said the Chases have contributed more than $3 million in scholarships for young breeders since the dealership established a scholarship fund in 2000.

Working on the gala committee are Hub Baker, Kadee Coffman, Susan Devault, Courtney Gray, Lola Hardisty, Kristin Jaworski, Anna Jennings, Katherine Kolstad, Nate Krieger, Pam Minick and Jeff Posey.

Cowboys and cowgirls at the gala are in for a special treat when a special tribute to Sancho, one of the original steers in the Fort Worth Herd, is unveiled.

You can count on a solid performance by Texas singer-songwriter Whitney O’Neil as she serenades the audience with her special brand of honky-tonk country as well as her contemporary Nashville sound.

Receiving the prestigious Outrider Award will be Fort Worth attorney and former councilman Jim Lane in recognition of his longtime support of the Fort Worth Herd and the Stockyards National Historic District.

“Jim Lane is an advocate of keeping the culture and history of native America and Western culture alive,” Minick said. “He initiated the idea of the daily cattle drive, bringing the cow back to Cowtown."

Auction swag includes a registered Labrador puppy, Mossberg shotgun, tickets to National Finals Rodeo and a stay at the Silverton Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.

The gala is a combined fundraiser for Friends of the Fort Worth Herd and Friends of Cowtown Coliseum. Minick said recent projects completed include purchasing a new trailer to safely transport livestock and installing a historical mural in Cowtown Coliseum as well as an educational display of African-American cowboy Bill Pickett. Funds also supported educational programming that served over 16,700 schoolchildren last year.

Tickets are $100 per person. Purchase at or call 817-336-4373.

Buckets and Boots Concert Saturday

Things will be rockin’ at Rocker B Ranch in Graford on Saturday as the fifth year of the Buckets and Boots Concert fires up. Attendees will have a heaping helping of food, fun, prizes and live music from 4:30to 11:45 p.m.

“This year we have an amazing lineup to support an even more amazing cause,” said event manager Katy Kreitzer. “We can’t wait to have everyone at the ranch to support the Palo Pinto County volunteer firefighters.”

The first act goes on at 6 p.m., and the great lineup includes Hudson Moore, Cody Johnson, Casey Donahew and headliner Travis Tritt. Kreitzer said the audience is in for a treat with a special surprise guest.

Hungry guests can get the wheel deal at a big selection of food trucks, and beer and soft drinks will also be available. Shop among the exhibits set up by retail vendors, and check out the artistic creations from local artists. Don’t miss the offerings of exclusive Buckets and Boots merchandise, too.

Buy a chance to win cool products and services in the drawing. Lucky winners will take home Kendra Scott earrings; a James Avery charm bracelet; NASCAR, Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers tickets; a guitar autographed by a popular music artist; and lots of other stuff. Tickets are $5 each, five for $20 and 10 for $40.

Money raised will benefit the 11 volunteer fire departments of Palo Pinto County.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate. Parking is $10. Purchase at Contact Kreitzer at 817-984-8532. The venue is at 1125 Chaney Lane.

At a glance

Cowboy Palooza at West 7th is July 18 from 6 to 10 p.m. Western celebration, in collaboration with the National Cutting Horse Association Summer Cutting Spectacular at Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Live music and dancing to tunes of Dalton Domino and the Front Porch Family Band. Other bands are Josh Halverson and Adrian Johnston. On the main stage is Katy Keenie and Two Ton Folk. Vendor exhibits and food and beverage for sale. Admission is free.

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