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Chestnut Square presents ‘Spirit of the Cowboy’

By Cindy Johnson
Executive Director, Chestnut Square Historic Village

The Wild West is coming to McKinney on September 21-22 when cowboy celebrities and entertainers arrive at the Spirit of the Cowboy festival at Chestnut Square Historic Village.

“I go to cowboy festivals all over the country and I’ve always wondered why we don’t have one right here in McKinney.” said Donna Wilmeth, festival organizer. “I just decided to get on with it and hold one. It’s a great opporunity for the people of McKinney to meet their cowboy heroes.”
Eleven celebrities from the great TV and movie westerns of the 1950s and ’60s have signed on to attend the event.

The following celebrities will be available for pictures, autographs, and Question and Answer sessions:
  • Robert Fuller of “Laramie”
  • William Smith of “Laredo”
  • James Stacy of “Lancer”
  • Micheal Dante of “Custer”, “Legend of Custer”, and “Winterhawk”
  • Don “Brown Jug Reynolds of “Red Rider”
  • Denny Miller of “Wagon Train”
  • Burton Gilliam of “Blazing Saddles”
  • James Hampton of “F Troop”, “Teen Wolf” and “Teen Wolf 2”
  • Ken Farmer of “Silverado”, “Friday Night Lights”
  • Alex Cord of “Laramie”, “Branded”
  • Charlie LeSueur, actor, emcee and authority on B Westerns
The grounds of Chestnut Square Historic Village, the green space north of Chestnut Square and east Louisiana Street in downtown McKinney will be transformed into a variety of cowboy activities including:
  • Rides in an authentic restored Butterfield stage coach
  • Cowboy meals from the chuck wagon circle up
  • A stick horse rodeo on east Louisiana Street for junior cowboys
  • Western movies in the Chapel
  • Performances by western performers
  • Performances by Friends of Skidboot
  • Pony rides
  • Mock gun fights
  • Friday night hoedown sing along
  • Blacksmithing demonstrations at the Chestnut Square forge
  • Dutch oven cooking demonstrations at Chestnut Square
  • KHYI 95.3, The Range, Live Broadcast
To launch the Spirit of the Cowboy festival, Kristine Byars, a retro-western artist has created an original oil painting that evokes the Spirit of the Cowboy. The painting will be offered in a commemerative poster at Dixie’s Store at Chestnut Square.

Visitors will enjoy the shaded grounds and historic buildings of Chestnut Square as a backdrop to the western fun. 
“We jumped at the opportunity to host the Spirit of the Cowboy festival,” said Chestnut Square Executive Director Cindy Johnson.  “Our mission is to preserve and perpetuate the heritage of Collin County and cowboys are definitely part of our heritage.  The cattle drives of the 1860s  through 1890s went right by McKinney.” 
Gates open for the event on at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 and close at 5 p.m.  The Camp Fire Hoedown on the Green Space starts up at 7:30 p.m. and everyone is urged to bring their favorite instrument to join the fun.
Friday is also “Senior Day” with discounted one-day tickets for seniors. 
Saturday’s activities start at 10 a.m. during the weekly Historic McKinney Farmers Market and continue until 5 p.m. 
At 7 p.m., Dinner with the Stars begins at The Pantry Restaurant in historic downtown McKinney. Ticket sales to the Dinner with the Stars event are limited.  All tickets are avalable online at the Spirit of the Cowboy website.
“Ticket sales have been brisk.”  Johnson said.  “We’ve sold tickets to people from Japan, the UK and over 15 states.”
The Spirit of the Cowboy Facebook page has generated interest around the globe.
“All the cowboy folks are out there posting every day about the event.”  Wilmeth said.  “There’s a lot of people who are excited about coming to Texas and seeing their favorite cowboys.” 
Prices for the Spirit of the Cowboy tickets are: 
In Advance
Adult One Day/Two Day:                       $12.00/$20.00
Child One Day/Two Day:                        $ 6.00/$10.00
Senior Day – Friday:                              $10.00
At the Gate
Adult One Day/Two Day:                        $15.00/$25.00
Child One Day/Two Day:                         $ 8.00/$12.00
Children Under Three:                             FREE
Stick Horse Rodeo
Entry Fee (includes Stick Horse)              $10.00
Dinner with the Stars at The Pantry
Advance                                              $35.00
Saturday (if available)                           $40.00          
For more information about the Spirit of the Cowboy at Chestnut Square Historic Village:

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Where can you watch Mavs?

Brian Bearden’s notebook:

Bonnie Ruth’s Bistro at Watters Creek in Allen says: Let’s do a Mav’s special in the bar tonight. $2 Corona lights, $2 Shiner and Franconia on tap. $5 1/2 pound Black Angus American cheeseburgers, and half price calamari. This is good from 4-Cl in the bar.

Ringo’s Pub
says: Another great way to “Beat the Heat” today…$3 Wells All Day! Game 3 tonight at the AAC 7p.m., Go Mavs!

Hank’s Texas Grill
in McKinney says: MAVS vs. Heat tonight on the big screens!! $2 Maveritas! Game 3, LET’S DO THIS!!

Ebby Halliday,
REALTORS says: It’s National Open House Weekend! Click here to visit where you can search the almost 2,000 open houses in the North Texas MLS. you can even pick your favorites and generate a tour map with turn-by-turn driving directions!

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. has this deal going today: Executive 2-Button Patterned Sportcoat. Reg $395 NOW $57 One Day Only while supplies last.

Metroplex Cadillac Dealers say: Three great competitions today! French Open: Nadal v Federer. NBA Finals: Mavs v some team from Miami. And the Metroplex Cadillac Best of the Best Chefs! VOTE and SHARE to help us end childhood hunger right here in North Texas. Post on our wall which competition you’ll be watching today!!!

Chestnut Square Historical Village
in McKinney is looking for 15 to 20 great volunteers for the Ice Cream Crank off! We are looking for people to scoop ice cream, help children make ice cream, run supplies,s ell refreshments and/or tickets, and so on. You get a FREE T-shirt, lunch and drinks and, if you need them, volunteer hours.

Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. -2 p.m. If you are interested, or know someone who is, let them know ASAP.

Thought for the day:

Milton Friedman
‎”I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”

Show the restaurant this post and tell them you saw it on Collin County

Farmers Market springs up in Adriatica

By Marthe Stinton,
Reprinted with permission of the McKinney Courier-Gazette
One of the clearest signs of the season is new life, which is exactly what the Historic McKinney Farmers Market is celebrating with the new Adriatica Farmers Market.

The Historic McKinney Farmers Market is venturing out to west McKinney and making a new home in Adriatica — a Croatian-inspired village complete with a lake, chapel, lawn and shops. Although the ribbon cutting is scheduled for mid-April and there has been little advertising for the market, vendors have tiptoed into the Stonebridge Ranch community bringing with them produce, meats, flowers and more.

“We’re taking people back to the way shopping was done before,” said Cindy Johnson, executive director for the Heritage Guild of Collin County. “It builds a sense of community and more.”

Vendors are currently setting up in a parking lot while their permanent residence is under construction and, as of last week, a large temporary sign will soon be placed for the market.

“One of the challenges we’ve had has been letting people know we are here and what we offer,” Johnson said.

However, at last Thursday’s market there were not only two meat vendors, but a flower vendor and a jewelry vendor who had made the trek to nestle into their new market digs. With this turnout it seems sellers are not discouraged by the lack of advertising, nor do they shy away from the new venture.

More vendors are expected to join once the weather gets warmer and the market gets bigger.

The Blackard Group, developers for Adriatica, says they have always wanted an authentic farmers market. According to Puc Westrupp, a spokesperson for the Blackard Group, the long-term plan for the Adriatica Farmers Market is to put the market in permanent stalls down by the Adriatica field.

“These stalls each come equipped with running water, electricity, air and heat, and are roofed with clay tiles just like the rest of the village,” Westrupp said. “We will be starting construction of these stalls within the next month.”

The builders, especially Jeff Blackard, have emphasized the fact that the Croatian-inspired village needs to be authentic and have all of the components one would see in a real Croatian village.

“Europeans for years have been able to keep the essence of community by living village life on a daily basis,” Westrupp said. “The end goal for Adriatica is just that — you can truly walk out your front door and step straight into village life and all the benefits that come with it.”

Johnson agrees with Blackard’s vision, adding, “The whole themed market really makes it a destination.”

The Stonebridge Ranch Community Association is also welcoming the new market and sees it as a hot commodity for the area.

“Many residents will appreciate the close proximity of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables in an open-air market, and when the remainder of the harbor district is complete, it will be even better,” said Pablo Ruiz, Stonebridge Ranch community association board president.

The Historic McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square is open 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday. The Adriatica Farmers Market is open from 1 to 5 p.m. every Thursday and Sunday. For information visit or call 972-562-8790.


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