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Echoes of the Trail will draw thousands from across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas to relive the days when an "infant message" took four months by wagon train.

Echoes of the Trail Brings History Alive

By Dwight Widaman |

You don’t need to be a cowboy or wear cowboy boots to enjoy Echoes of the Trail, according to organizer Judy Howser. Kids and adults alike enjoy watching an authentic, wood-wheeled wagon trail roll in on June 13. They’ll make camp in front of the Fort Scott Community College Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center all weekend. Then, on Saturday, an authentic chuck wagon will provide a meal to the public for just a free-will offering.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to show our families what life was like on the trail long ago in Kansas and to teach them that cowboys didn’t just ‘shoot ‘em up’,” said organizer Diann Tucker.

The cowboy poets and singers at Echoes of the Trail are devout Christians as well as cowboys. In fact, one attendee asked organizer Judy Howser if this was a cowboy gathering or a Christian gathering, and she replied that “it is both, and you can hear conversations about the Bible among the vendors as well as the entertainers. Many of the performers are members of Cowboys for Christ.”

Inside the Fine Arts Center, entertainment for the public will include a cowboy poet and singer contest that begins Friday evening at 7:30 and ends Saturday, June 14 at 7:30.

All day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be cowboy tales and singing by entertainers such as Judy Coder in the Fine Arts Center Theater. In the lobby, the public is welcome to browse the western trade show free of charge. There will be fine hand-made articles such as rope baskets and crosses, spinning and yarns, a basket weaver, metal work, kids’ blankets, books, CDs, and much more, including home made pie slices for sale. Local 4-H clubs will benefit from the results of the 2nd annual Pie Baking Contest.

Tickets will be sold for the theater only, and they will be $20 for the weekend or $12 for Friday or Saturday evenings only. Children under 12 are admitted free of charge, and a free-will offering is asked for Saturday and Sunday chuck wagon meals.
Rev. Steven Spalding, a former Nashville singer and ordained preacher, will again lead an outdoors cowboy church on 9 a.m. Sunday morning. Denny and Donna Williams and their sidekicks, Jimmie and Louise Campbell, will cook up a hearty chuck wagon breakfast after church. The committee suggests bringing lawn chairs, and there will be a few picnic tables available. Rev. Spalding also will lead a special gospel music show in the Faith Christian Center on Hwy 69 on Sunday evening. Some of the cowboy poets and singers heard during the weekend at Echoes of the Trail will sing and recite cowboy poetry.

For those who ride horseback, there is also a trail ride that begins June 12 on the Tucker Ranch just 4 miles south of FSCC, and signing up for the ride includes all the entertainment during Echoes of the Trail, a chuck wagon meal, a banquet, and primitive camping.

For information click here: www.echoesofthetrail.com