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Cowpoke Canyon offers family fun at Western Days-Ziegfest

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Oct. 12, 2011 at 5:12 a.m.

Paul Butler, of Colorado, scrubs the Ghost Pirates ride clean Wednesday afternoon as the carnival crew prepares for Western Days-Ziegfest in Yorktown. The haunted attraction is new to the festival this year.

Paul Butler, of Colorado, scrubs the Ghost Pirates ride clean Wednesday afternoon as the carnival crew prepares for Western Days-Ziegfest in Yorktown. The haunted attraction is new to the festival this year.

YORKTOWN - Far more than a lineup of boot scootin' Texas music, Western Days-Ziegfest also offers a variety of family fun, all for free.

New this year are a 5K Fun Run, a paint ball shooting range and "walking water balls," said Melissa Armstrong, executive director of the Yorktown Western Days Association.

The walking water balls are huge acrylic balls in a large pool that people can get into and actually "walk on water," explained Armstrong.

Registration for the fun run begins at 7:30 a.m. with the event starting at the pavilion at 8 a.m.

The paintball range opens at 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.

Along with the carnival that opens at 5 p.m. Thursday and its array of rides and games, Cowpoke Canyon is also the place to be for all ages.

The carnival opens at noon Saturday and Sunday.

Other activities include the children's parade at 5:30 p.m. Friday and the grand parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Cowpoke Canyon also features a petting zoo and pony rides, a gold mine, South Texas gunfighters show, a magic show, mutton bustin' and pig scramble.

Saturday's activities include a motorcycle tour at 10:15 a.m.

The annual cook-off has attracted more than 400 entries across all categories and the children's cook-off on Sunday has grown in popularity, Armstrong said.

Also for the kids on Sunday are the Lil Wrangler rodeo at 1 p.m. and children's tractor pull at 2 p.m.

The event also includes food and craft vendors.

"We very much appreciate the continued support of Yorktown and the surrounding communities," Armstrong said. "It's that support, and that of our sponsors, that keep this a free event."

Proceeds from Western Days-Ziegfest are donated to local nonprofit groups and organizations, said Armstrong.

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