Day Trip: Cowboy Symposium

Freedom Newspapers

The 17th annual Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso will take place Friday through Oct.15 in Ruidoso Downs.

According to Jim Kofakis, special events and fund-raising coordinator for the Hubbard Museum of the American West, a few Ruidoso residents started the event 17 years ago. The Hubbard Museum and Ruidoso Downs Race Track took over the symposium seven years ago.

On Friday and Oct. 14, there will be Western swing dances each night to the music of the Texas Playboys, with Don Edwards as guest star throughout the symposium.

About 25,000 to 30,000 people are expected to attend, according to Kofkais.

“The chuck wagon cook-off draws a lot of people in. It was once on the Food Network,” Kofkais said.

There are 26 competing chuck wagons in the cook-off this year, with prizes totaling $10,000, according to the Web site.

There will be five stages on the race track with a performance by Hank the Cow Dog, poetry, fiddlers and Dutch-oven cooking lessons.

The symposium features roping and horsemanship demonstrations as well as booths with western arts and crafts, according to the Web site.


General admission is $15 a day. Admission is $10 for museum members. Cost is $20 to eat at the chuck wagon.


From Portales take U.S. 70 west to Roswell, then to Ruidoso to Ruidoso Downs race track. Turn on Joe Welch Lane. The trip is about 150 miles and takes about three hours.


For more information, or to order tickets, contact Sunny Hirschfeld at 378-7262. Or log on to