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Wranglers reunion returns this weekend

During the 2013 edition of the Ranches, Rodeos & Wranglers event, Shana Graham — co-owner of Painted Pony Rodeo — pauses for a photo while reminiscing with Don ‘Wild Horse’ Baxter who started the Painted Pony Rodeo in 1953.
Courtesy photo

During the 2013 edition of the Ranches, Rodeos & Wranglers event, Shana Graham — co-owner of Painted Pony Rodeo — pauses for a photo while reminiscing with Don ‘Wild Horse’ Baxter who started the Painted Pony Rodeo in 1953. Courtesy photo

— A gathering last year of cowboys, cowgirls — and other enthusiasts of the region’s dude ranch history — is returning next weekend to Lake Luzerne.

The second-annual Ranches, Rodeos and Wranglers event is set for Friday July 25 through Sunday July 27, primarily at Painted Pony Rodeo & Saloon off Rte. 9N.

The event received considerable attention in its debut last year, with cowhands and rodeo competitors from decades past convening and reminiscing about their experiences, sharing tales of the colorful characters who worked at the region’s many dude ranches from the late 1940s through the early 1970s.

The 2014 wrangler reunion’s main program is set for Sunday July 27, with cowboys and cowgirls from prior decades talking about the bygone days at Thousand Acres Ranch, Hidden Valley Ranch, Roaring Brook, Painted Pony, and about 40 other dude ranches once active in Lake Luzerne, Stony Creek and elsewhere in the lower Adirondacks. Last year, the story-telling included western roping demonstrations and singing old-time ranch songs.

Various exhibitors will be sharing vintage photos, news articles and brochures that depict the dude ranch experience of bygone times, as well as saddles, chaps and other artifacts, event co-organizer Cindy Cameron said. People attending are urged to bring along photos so they can be scanned on-site and be shared with others, she said.

Also, authors of books on dude ranches in the Adirondacks will have their books on hand.

The day is topped off with a chicken & biscuit dinner, included in Sunday’s $25 admission price, beginning at 5:30 p.m..

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on both Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26, Painted Pony will be hosting free “meet and greet” public sessions with the ranch hands from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the venue’s pavilion, and a barbecue meal will be available beginning at 6 p.m.. Both evenings conclude with sanctioned championship rodeo competition for a modest admission charge.

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