PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) This weekend brings a first to Pierre/Fort Pierre and to South Dakota…it’s the “Dakota Western Heritage Festival” which will be Friday and Saturday. Gary Heintz is leading a group that is organizing the event; which will spotlight everything that’s “cowboy”. There will be daily activities at the Expo Center in Fort Pierre. Heintz says visitors can take in a freedom stage featuring regional cowboy poets and musicians, demonstrations of old west craftsmanship, vendors, exhibits and more.
Heintz also says there will be horse training demonstrations, a farrier and a fast draw competition.
In addition, a chuck wagon will be set up to show how they served as a home away from home for cowboys in the past. There will also be a practice area where people can see whether they can rope a dummy steer. The Expo Center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. Heintz says this weekend will allow people to be a part of the old west-even if it is only for a short time.
On Saturday evening, the focus turns to the Pierre Opera House, for a concert with Cowboy Balladeer Don Edwards. His opening act will be Yvonne Hollenbeck who is from Clearfield, South Dakota. Heintz says Hollenbeck is a nationally known western cowboy poet and he spoke with her about South Dakota needing an event that would highlight cowboy life. He says he later talked to Edwards and was able to secure his appearance for this weekend’s gathering in Central South Dakota.
The concert starts at 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Heintz says the Opera House lends itself to the kind of music that Edwards performs. He says it is an intimate location that allows up-close interaction. Already, Heintz says tickets have been sold to people from as far away as Florida, California and Arizona. Tickets are available at American State Bank, Prairie Pages Bookseller and at Heintz’s State Farm-Office. Those that have questions can call 1-800-568-4190 or contact Heintz at 222-0079.
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