Plenty of boot-scootin' fun at 20th annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival

By Vanessa Ybarra
March 17, 2017 - 5:15pm Updated: March 19, 2017 - 3:13pm

KAMLOOPS — You won't find Clint Eastwood or John Wayne at the Cowboy Festival but you'll find plenty of western spirit.

From classic cowboy hats, to paintings, jewelry, sculptures and even dinner bells, if it's country, it's at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, with dozens of vendors throughout B.C taking part in this year's event at the Coast Kamloops Hotel. 

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"The reason for the Kamloops Cowboy Festival and the B.C Kamloops Heritage Society is to promote and preserve cowboy heritage," said Mark McMillan, Chair of the Kamloops Cowboy Festival. 

According to the B.C Cattlemen's Association, the province is home to more than 4,000 cattle ranches, with numerous operations throughout the Kamloops area.

"It's a lot bigger industry than many people realize," added McMillan.

With thousand of British Columbians and Albertans attending the three-day event, it may be a chance for vendors to make some quick cash, but most of all it's a chance to celebrate a centuries-old lifestyle.

"We both cowboy on ranches and stuff, it's a big part of our life," said Danika Malysh, a Merritt Blacksmith with Jack Pine Forge. "It's fairly unique there's not really anything elsewhere like it in B.C for sure."

The event is so unique, it's one that Kelowna artist Linda Kelly also look forward to every year. 

"This is what the country was built on," said Kelly, Owner of Sweet Water Bronze."It's the perfect little venue for me and it's only a weekend so it's not a huge commitment. It's a great way to get your stuff out there." 

With art auctions as well as dinner theatre every night, there's something for every cowboy and cowgirl at the Kamloops Cowboy Outside, just make sure to hitch your horse outside.

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