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Cowboy up: Shawnee Trail Cowboy Day takes place Saturday
At the Shawnee Trail Cowboy Day this year, many reenactments and demonstrations of Old West activities will take place. Photo courtesy of the Heritage Association.
Frisco has a rich history filled with railroads, cowboys and much, much more. Some of that history will be on display Saturday at the Heritage Center's Shawnee Trail Cowboy Day.
The event, which will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will take place after the Gary Burns Fun Run, which starts in Frisco Square at 8 a.m.
Rick Fletcher, spokesman for the event and a Heritage Association board member, said the event is designed for families to have a good time while learning about the Old West.
"We've had this event a few times over the years, but we're really putting a new resurgence behind it this year," he said. "We plan to make it an entirely new annual event starting this year, in fact. There will be a lot more activities for children and adults."
Some of those activities include a petting zoo and pony rides for children. For adults, live music will be played and demonstrations of Old West activities, such as blacksmithing, quilting and churning.
A new activity the Heritage Association expects to draw large crowds is an armadillo race. In that activity, contestants will try to get their armadillo across the finish line by blowing on the animals' backs before their competitors can get their armadillos across.
In addition to outdoor activities, the Heritage Center will also be open and available to attendees interested in learning about the history of Frisco and the surrounding areas.
"We have a huge mural of the Shawnee Trail inside the Heritage Center that really shows a lot about the history of the Shawnee Trail and the city," Fletcher said. "A lot of people don't know that the Shawnee Trail originally ran through the [now defunct] town of Lebanon, which was just six or seven miles from here. That town was thriving in the mid-1880s, but when the railroad came through Frisco Lebanon all but dried up in the 1950s."
Some of the buildings from Lebanon are even located at the Heritage Center, including the Lebanon Baptist Church and homes from the town.
The event, which is expected to draw a crowd of up to 1,000 people, will cost just $5, and children ages 2 and younger will get in free.
That price was a conscious effort to make the event affordable for families across Frisco, and perhaps even some who don't live in the city, Fletcher said.
"We're trying to make something economical for families," he said. "We've got this down to a reasonable cost, and we've got all our buildings open and our blacksmith shop open. All our historic homes will be open."
Local businesses will be helping out with Cowboy Day, as the event will be sponsored by Black Tie Events, Bankston Ford and Kimley-Horn Engineers. Another sponsor, Dimples Cupcake Factory, located on Frisco Square, will be hosting a cupcake walk during the event.
Jane Whitledge, Heritage Association secretary, said this year's event will expand greatly on previous years, which typically didn't include many activities.
While the event was held in the spring the past few years, this year it was moved to the fall in an attempt to bring in more visitors, Whitledge said.
"Weather was very iffy for this outdoor event, and we decided try a different time of year and to make this one of our major fundraisers," she said. "Proceeds from the event will go to the Heritage Association. We hope that people who are out and about for other fun community events such as the Gary Burns Fun Run will want to take advantage of the weekend and come over to the Heritage Village and participate in Shawnee Trail Cowboy Day."
The Heritage Association isn't just content with making the event larger this year -- plans are already in progress to make next year's event even bigger. Fletcher said next year's event will likely include many new activities and last longer.
"Next year we plan on making this an all-day event," he said. "We'll have more live bands and things of that nature. We want this to be a big fall festival -- we think Frisco deserves to have one really large fall festival."