● By Melissa Mendonca
The Cowgirl Jubilee at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds in McArthur
Pam McBroome has spent 10 years on the road selling western décor and cowgirl bling and has noticed something about the people she’s met along the way. “I just meet women everywhere and lots of them want to camp and do things,” she says.
McBroome and a group of friends have taken this insight and combined it with a desire to support the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds to create the first Cowgirl Jubilee, a “festival for the outdoor woman” and a chance for all women to bring out their inner cowgirl in a weekend of outdoor activities, horse business and camping.
“One morning I woke up and realized that we need to have a cowgirl event,” says McBroome. “It’s such a great thing to get out with your girlfriends, to get out and have fun. This valley is perfect for something like that.” Indeed, the group of organizers is going out of its way to highlight all of the gems of the Inter-Mountain Valley, including fishing, golfing, trail riding and kayaking.
While she is quick to rattle off the many offerings of the area, she also recognizes that some participants may just want to settle in at base camp, the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds in McArthur. “They don’t even have to leave the fairgrounds if they don’t want to because we’re going to have everything for them right there,” she says.
And by “everything,” she means meals, a cowgirl saloon and a salon with massage and yoga, horse events including gymkhana, cattle sorting and training demonstrations, and even cow-dog demonstrations. There will be music by Adrian “Buckaroogirl” and the Buck Ford Band, medieval jousting and trick roping by Karen Quest of Cowgirl Tricks, a Vaudeville-style Western comedy act.
“We’re going to have a big showing of our youth,” she says, noting that local 4-H and FFA members are prepared to serve meals and assist guests.
The event is open to the public but will also be a gathering spot for Sisters on the Fly, a group of women who live by the motto “we have more fun than anyone” and caravan in vintage trailers to outdoor events around the country. “These little trailers, in my opinion, say to women, ‘Freedom. Go out and explore and be independent.’” says McBroome, a member of the group.
The Cowgirl Jubilee includes a raffle of a 1956 Crown trailer completely restored by Karen Brunk of Anderson. It is decorated to the nines in vintage cowgirl décor and will make an instant Sister on the Fly of the lucky winner. Only 500 of the $50 tickets will be sold for a chance to win this vintage beauty.
Proceeds from the Cowgirl Jubilee benefit the Inter-Mountain Fair Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 to support the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds, a gathering spot for the inter-mountain community.
“We call it the heartbeat of the valley because of the activities that happen there throughout the seasons,” says Elena Albaugh, president of the Inter-Mountain Fair Heritage Foundation. She notes that the fairgrounds is the weekly host to everything from weddings to funerals to fundraisers and competitions. “Everybody uses that fairgrounds,” she says.
With the Cowgirl Jubilee, organizers hope to bring more women from outside the valley to experience everything the Inter-Mountain area has to offer. There will be plenty of opportunities to be pampered, but there will also be challenges to face, whether in the arena, on the golf course, or out on the water in a kayak or with a fly rod. The camaraderie of other women will encourage stepping out on a limb to try something new.
As Albaugh says, “You don’t really have to be a cowgirl to enjoy the outdoors, to enjoy watching horses perform, or to watch a cowboy band perform.” If it’s true, however, that every woman has an inner cowgirl, there’s no better place than the Inter-Mountain Valley and Fairgrounds to let her loose to play.
“You’re not clear up in the woods, but you’re in the country. And it’s beautiful country,” adds McBroome.