Saturday, July 25, is the National Day of the Cowboy -- a day to honor the cowboy and Native American heritage and legacies in Montana and across the nation.
Ted Valentiner of Whitefish is a western heritage advocate who has worked with Montana legislators to pass legislation for the state to observe the national holiday.
“It's a day that to honor the cowboy tradition and the contributions of both the cowboy and the Native American culture to our history,” said Valentiner. “The cowboy is a worldwide icon and we thought it was important to recognize that. This will be the second year in a row that we will be officially celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy in Montana.”
Valentiner said it's important to recognize the heritage and legacy of the men, women, and cultures that have shaped Montana.
“I think we should be thinking about the contributions the cowboy, the cowboy culture and the Native American culture has made to this country,” said Valentiner. “I've lived and worked all over the world and there isn't a place that I've gone when they find out that you're an American that they don't immediately talk about the cowboy. It's such a worldwide icon. We needed to recognize it on a national level for all the contributions to our culture and our history both in the past and into the present day.”
Activities to celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy are endless, even with COVID-19. They include visiting a museum, taking in western art and enjoying Montana's wide-open spaces.
“We want people to go out and enjoy a cowboy activity,” said Valentiner. “There's a lot of rodeos going on. Go out and celebrate those. Barbecue. Do those things that are part of our western heritage that we all enjoy. Just remember that a lot of folks made a lot of contributions in our history to get us to where we are today.”
More information about the National Day of the Cowboy can be found here.