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2nd annual chuck wagon event success despite weather

Wagons came from far and wide to serve up cowboy grub


Wagons came from far and wide to serve up cowboy grub


Yeehaw! Despite the freezing temperatures, folks braved the cold and gathered at the Marion Sports Complex for the Second Annual East Arkansas Chuck Wagons for Heroes this past Saturday. The irresistible aroma of cowboy chili, stew, cornbread fritters and a whole lot more filled the air as residents from far and wide came out to support a good cause.

Unfortunately, the balloon rides had to be cancelled due to the weather, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance. This year, the event featured a trick shooting exhibition by the Dead Tree Desperados out of Nashville. One of their tricks included shooting a hole through a deck of cards while being held by aloft.

“It’s all safe, though.” said event organizer and cowboy cook George Powers, “we fallow all safety precautions and there is no actual danger to those doing the tricks or the audience.”

The highlight of the gathering was, of course, the old-style Chuck Wagon lunch, served up fresh from real actual chuck wagons. For twenty bucks, hungry cowboys and cowgirls could feast on chili, cowboy stew, chicken and dumplings, biscuits, beans, and a variety of desserts, all cooked up just like they were in the wild west days. There was also supposed to be live music, a 50/50 raffle, a pie walk, a live auction, and appearances by locals dressed as western folk lore heroes however some of these events had to be canceled, again, due to the weather.

“We didn’t want the band to freeze their fingers off playing, so we told them to just grab some grub.” said Powers in between telling one of his famous stories about the history of the Old West.

Chuck wagons do have a rich history, founded by Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving in 1866. These mobile kitchens were essential for feeding cowboys on long cattle drives across the plains, and they continue to serve up delicious grub at events like the Chuck Wagons for Heroes.

The chuckwagons traveled from Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi to participate in the event. All proceeds raised from the gathering go to benefit veterans and the Fisher House, a worthy cause supported by cowpokes and non-cowpokes alike. So, dust off your spurs and saddle up for next year’s Chuck Wagons for Heroes – it’s a wild ride you won’t want to miss!

George found out the hard way that having this much fun might be illegal!

Photos by Don Wilburn

Trick shooter Roy Azevedo showing off a card with a hole shot through it.

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