Dodge City Days 2019 had plenty of special visitors during its 10-day festival this year. Among them were National Day of the Cowboy executive director Bethany Braley and spokespersons Brent and Janet Slutsky.
According to Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau director Jan Stevens, Braley and the Slutskys were guests on the Dodge City Drovers float during the Dodge City Days Western Parade and met with community members throughout the week, giving interviews and educating people about the national celebrations that take place across the nation every July 27.
"This day is set aside by the U.S. Senate to pay homage to our cowboy and Western heritage," Stevens said. "Fortunately, Dodge City Days coincides with this special day, and our community marks each year with special flags posted around Dodge City as part of the celebrations."
CVB tourism coordinator Robin Bailey added, "Both our city and county commissions pass a proclamation each year to honor the national celebration."
According to the proclamations, the cowboys were pioneering men and women who helped establish the American West. They embody honesty, integrity, courage, compassion and respect, with a strong work ethic and patriotism.
"Once again I’ve had a wonderful time in Dodge City, but this year was made even more special because the Drovers invited us to represent the National Day of the Cowboy as honored guests on the Drover Wagon in the parade," said Braley. "Janet and Brent Slutsky and I loved seeing our beautiful National Day of the Cowboy flags all along the parade route and everywhere we went in town.
"I didn’t get a chance to tell folks that the NDOC fringed flag flying nearest the front of our wagon had traveled to the International Space (Station) aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle. It flew 5,700,000 miles and came back to Earth on Flag Day. U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords carried it in a parade on horseback before she returned it to us."
Braley added that Dodge City has more National Day of the Cowboy flags than any other location in the country and that the guests were met with courtesy and graciousness by everyone they came into contact with in Dodge City this year.
"Can’t wait to come back, especially since we know the National Day of the Cowboy is going to continue to grow and flourish and the people of Dodge City, where pioneer heritage and cowboy culture is protected and promoted, will continue to add significantly to that growth," Braley said.
Brent Slutsky added, "My wife, Janet, and I in my role as a national spokesperson for the National Day of the Cowboy have joined many celebrations for the NDOC. None are as good as what’s done in Dodge City. What’s so impressive is the community of Dodge City remembers, embraces and celebrates the long history here and your part of making this country so great.
"This preserving of your history is exactly what we at the National Day of the Cowboy are trying to do at a national level. We are also looking to celebrate, remember and preserve the heritage of the same qualities of those pioneer farmers, homesteaders and cowboys that drove this country west.
"The drive, strength, determination, self-reliance and toughness were so necessary to survive in those days.
"I want to personally thank Dodge City and its citizens for celebrating their history and celebrating the National Day if the Cowboy. We are forever grateful."
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