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Pioneer Way of Life at Staked Plains Roundup

Chuck wagon cook-off at the 2017 Staked Plains Roundup in Hobbs. (Submitted Photo)

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The annual Staked Plains Roundup returns to Hobbs this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the rodeo arena on the campus of New Mexico Junior College, 1 Thunderbird Circle. The event is free for the public and is sponsored by the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame and includes a chuck wagon cook-off, sanctioned by the American Chuck Wagon Association, plus several Western demonstrations and entertainment.

“Staked Plains Roundup is an all-day event for families that showcases the tools and lifestyle of the west,” said Darrell Beauchamp, director of the Western Heritage Museum. “The chuck wagons are authentically restored or replicated wagons, and it’s fun to see them cooking for the competition.”

Along with the chuck wagon cook-off, there are Western events all day at the museum, including performances by Trick Roper Brice Chapman at 10:30 a.m. Native American performers Nino Reyos and Company, expert hoop dancer Patrick Willie, dancer Rachelle Willie and Nino Reyos will perform Native American flute music at 11:30 a.m. Cowboy singer Pete Laumbach, who sings original and Southwestern songs, performs at 12:30 p.m.

Visitors can watch a blacksmith working, see weaving and spinning demonstrations, branding and boot making, a dairy farm demonstration and see what Buffalo soldiers camps looked like. According to legend the term Buffalo soldiers were given by Native American tribes to describe African American military men, either because of their curly dark hair, because of their bravery or both. In August 1866 eight African American companies of the 125th Infantry marched to New Mexico and soon were serving at seven Army forts throughout the territory, most of them in southern New Mexico.

Authentic chuck wagon meals are sold for lunch — limited amount available. Meal tickets are available in advance at the museum. Any tickets remaining will be sold on the day of the event.

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The event will be held at the NMJC Rodeo Arena, near Training and Outreach, off Millen Drive, across from the Zia Park Casino.

“Because we host over 1,500 fourth-graders Thursday and Friday at the Rodeo Arena, with a smaller version of Staked Plains Roundup, we decided that, for Saturday’s family event, we would keep the event at the Rodeo Arena,” said Beauchamp. “It makes it easier for the demonstrations, and gives plenty of room for the chuck wagons to set up and begin their cooking.”

For more information, call the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame at 575-492-2678.