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Published November 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

More than cowboys invited to Medora celebration

Hay rides, poetry readings, good food and chicken tossing — yes, chicken tossing, is part of Medora’s 13th Annual Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas this weekend.

By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press

Hay rides, poetry readings, good food and chicken tossing — yes, chicken tossing, is part of Medora’s 13th Annual Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas this weekend.

Pam Reinarts, event chairperson, said this year’s celebration features long-time traditions, beginning Friday evening, with oyster stew and a wreath ceremony.

“This is the opening ceremony,” Reinarts said. “They go by horseback and they bring the wreath to the front of the Medora Community Center, at which time it is hung on the outside wall and lit.”

Reinarts said this year’s participants to bring in the wreath are two Medora natives, Laura Griffin and Sydney Hegge.

“Those two ladies will be riding horseback and then they have different family and friends join the wreath bearers called outriders,” Reinarts said.

Following the wreath ceremony Friday, a jamboree, featuring the musical talents of Bob Peterman of Wibaux, Brenda Davis from Rhame and Lowell Larsen of Taylor, will be held, along with music from Thunder Road, Reinarts said.

During the jamboree, a military veteran’s award will be given to Phillip and Peter Malkowski of Belfield, both Navy World War II veterans.

On Saturday, hay and wagon rides will be given from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will be picked up at the Medora Community Center.

The Chateau de Mores Historic Site will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, serving Christmas cookies and hot apple cider.

Reinarts said the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame will feature a variety of artists throughout the day during the cowboy poetry gathering.

“They are also raffling tickets for a commemorative saddle,” Reinarts said. “They are featuring children’s Christmas movies in the theater from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. so that parents can go upstairs and enjoy the poetry.”

Reinarts added that wood carving demonstrations and sales will also be featured on Saturday in the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

At Western Edge Books in Medora, Belfield native Tawnya (Weninger) Bulger, will be holding a book signing for her children’s book “Katrina: Growing Wings” from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

A variety of food will be featured during the Eats on the Streets event, held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“People will be serving a finger food, a dessert item or a beverage,” Reinarts said. “Those items are either free or there will be a minimal charge.”

A quilt show held both Friday and Saturday will be held at the AmericInn in Medora as well.

An odder event, the fowl fling, is sponsored by the North Dakota CattleWomen.

“They literally toss the rubber chicken,” Reinarts said. “There are children and adult categories and a variety of prizes.”

Rounding out Saturday’s events, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., a Christmas dinner will be held, followed by a fireworks show at 7:30 p.m.

“They can go anywhere in downtown Medora, with views from the community center as well,” Reinarts said. “It’s about 20 minutes in length and if I’m not mistaken, it is the only fireworks display in North Dakota in December. It’s absolutely beautiful. They shoot it against the east bluffs.”

To end the weekend, a Christmas dance will be held beginning at 8 p.m. with music by Thunder Road and a special guest appearance by Quintana Biffert.

“Both nights at the dances we will be serving beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic,” Reinarts said. “We’re expecting a great turnout especially if we have good weather.”

Medora Mayor Doug Ellison said he enjoys the event each year.

“I really feel that the Cowboy Christmas is an important part of what Medora offers,” he said. “It kind of lets people know that we’re here all year.”

For more on the events, contact the Medora Chamber of Commerce at 701-623-4910.

The line up


4:30 p.m. – Oyster Stew at Cowboy Café

6:30 p.m. – Wreath Ceremony on streets of Medora, ends at Medora Community Center

7 p.m. – Jamboree with military veteran’s award and dance following, music by Thunder Road


9 a.m. - 5 p.m. – Chateau de Mores activities

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – Hay/wagon rides, pickup at MCC

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – Quilt show at AmericInn

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. – North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame activities

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. – Theodore Roosevelt National Park activities

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. – Eats on the Streets

1 p.m. - Fowl Fling at MCC

4 p.m. - Mass at MCC

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.– Christmas dinner at MCC

7:30 p.m. – Winter Wonderland fireworks at the bluffs east of the MCC

8 p.m. – Christmas dance at MCC, music by Thunder Road with special guest appearance by Quintana Biffert