Mustang’s biggest event celebrates city’s big 5-0
By Traci Chapman
Friday marked a big annual milestone for Mustang Western Days organizers – two weeks until thousands of people turned up to experience arguably the city’s largest event.
This year would be especially significant, City Manager and Mustang Chamber of Commerce chairman Tim Rooney said, thanks to the city’s “official” 50th birthday.
“While that doesn’t happen until October and we have a lot planned at that time to celebrate the city’s birthday, it’s great that it’s the theme for this year’s Western Days, as well,” Rooney said.
In fact, “Mustang 50 Years Strong” is all about the Mustang of the past, while celebrating its present and future, chamber CEO Renee Peerman said. In addition to traditional favorite activities like Kiwanis pancake breakfast, Mustang Public School District’s western stampede, Oklahoma Mustang Club’s annual car show, rodeo, cutest cowboy and cowgirls taking the stage during the Friday night chili cook-off and much more, new offerings would be on hand to add a little something to the two-day event.
“We’ll have the Canadian County cornhole championship, as well as cowboy storyteller and strolling guitarist Wayne Cantwell for the first time,” Peerman said. “Sen. Paul Rosino is also sponsoring the JOM group from Mustang – as far as I know, this will be the first time we have involvement from any of the Native American groups.
“They will be having demonstrations and storytelling at Wild Horse Park and will be walking in the parade,” she said.
JOM groups are part of a program made possible by the 1934 Johnson-O’Malley Act, created to subsidize educational needs of Indian students.
Two city charter signers – Don Trull and Loren Smith, as well as Wynona Trull, will serve as this year’s parade grand marshals, continuing the 50th birthday theme, Peerman said.
For organizers who meet throughout the year, this is go time, the end of a long process that involves a lot of moving parts, Peerman said. Several committees encompass the two-day event, set this year for Sept. 6-7.
Western Days actually kicks off earlier than many people realize, with a 10 a.m. Friday storefront decorating contest Friday night features the annual chili cook-off on the front lawn of Town Center, concurrently featuring best dressed cowboy/cowgirl competitions and gospel music, while the Stampede Car Show – held across North Mustang Road at First Baptist Church – will host a hospitality event.
Mustang Roundup Club’s two-night open rodeo begins at 8 p.m. Friday in Mustang Arena.
Saturday activities start bright and early, as Mustang Kiwanis begin serving up their traditional pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at Mustang Methodist Church, while over at Mustang High School’s Bronco Stadium, elementary, intermediate and middle school students from throughout the take part in the Stampede 5K Run, while also includes intermediate and elementary school miles events.
At 10 a.m. what for many people is Western Days’ annual kick-off activity, the parade, heads down state Highway 152.
Throughout Saturday, a host of activities take place in Wild Horse Park, at First Baptist Church and more, Peerman said.
Evening activities begin at 5 p.m. with the start of the chuck wagon cook-off, located near Wildhorse Gardens and Market, and the rodeo returns for its second night at 8 p.m.
For more information about Western Days, go online to www.mustangwesterndays.com. For a complete rundown of this year’s events, see our special section in next week’s edition of the Mustang Times.