The fourth Saturday in July is the National Day of the Cowboy, a celebration of those chaps in chaps and other cowpoke folks. With a little imagination, this commemoration can make for a rootin' tootin' weekend for those in "The Pursuit" of a ripsnortin' good time.
Insects were no strangers to cowboys on the open prairie (horsefly, anyone?). You can learn more about our six-legged, creepy-crawly friends at Green Lane Park. "Incredible Insects," presented Saturday, July 27, uses real-life examples (no worries, they're released back to their homes afterward) to explore bugs' purposes and adaptions. If nothing else, a little knowledge might make you think twice before swatting that bumblebee or squashing that spider.
Throughout history and into present-day, cowboys relied on heavily on canines for herding and protecting livestock. Regardless if your dog spends time chasing sheep or counting them, you can let him or her cool off at the Wooden Duck Dog Pool Party, Saturday, July 27. A series of dog-friendly pools will be available, and although bathing suits are not required, those beagles in bikinis or boxers in board-shorts can compete in a swimsuit competition.
Hunk, Hickory and Zeke, the three farm hands in the film version of The Wizard of Oz, don't exactly bring forth the rugged, weathered image of a cowhand. But it's clear that the Gail farm relied heavily on horses in scratching out a living on the bleak plains of Kansas (several black steeds are released from the barn as the twister approaches). Watch Hunk, Hickory and Zeke transform into a tinman, a scarecrow and a lion, respectively, in King of Prussia Players' production of The Wizard of Oz. The show closes this weekend, July 26-27 at the Shannondell Performing Arts Center.
Onscreen, there have been good westerns (Rio Bravo, for example) and bad westerns (Bad Girls, for example). And then there are those westerns that are so bad, they're good (The Terror of Tiny Town, for example). For a celebration of this kind of movie - the ones just short of cringe-worthy to survive as loveable kitsch - nestle into a seat at the Colonial Theater for the screening of Trailer Trash. "Trailers," those coming attractions that now play before the feature, once played after the feature (hence the name). This selection of Hollywood hokum is an onscreen collection of cheesy ads for cult films, monster flicks, spy epics, beach movies and sci-fi adventures, strung together in a celebration of 1950s-1960s nostalgia. Get ready to laugh, scream, hoot and holler at the screen on July 28.
The western expansion that began on horseback continued on the rails. US Rails, a folk-rock and traditional rock and roll band, steams into the Steel City Coffeehouse, hot off its recent European tour and third-album compilation, "Heartbreak Superstar." The depth of their nightly set-lists enables the band to stretch their shows into long and dynamic live "stories" of who they are, where they come from and where they're headed next. It's more than a concert; it's a revealing, living and breathing experience.
The weekend is just on the horizon. Make your plans and giddyap!