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How to Celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy

Western-theme ornaments, including the shape of Texas, a pair of red cowboy boots, a man riding a horse, a man fully dressed as a cowboy, and a cowboy hat. |

Learn about this little-known holiday and how it helps preserve American history!

When you think about cowboys, you might picture a scene from an old western movie, but the people who have shaped cowboy culture are so much more than fiction! Cowboy Ornaments are perfect to celebrate this unique part of our history and tradition.

National Day of the Cowboy, celebrated on the 4th Saturday in July, is a growing movement to preserve the pioneer heritage that still exists today. So far, twelve states celebrate this day as an official holiday. From visiting exhibits and artwork in museums, to enjoying activities like rodeos and concerts, there’s a lot of interesting history to learn about.

A cowboy ornament on a horse, perfect for a Christmas gift to a horseback rider. | Ornament Shop

Why Celebrate Cowboys?

The cowboys often celebrated were cattle ranchers after the American Civil War who would roam independently driving herds. There were also cattle herders before this time in Southeast America dating all the way back to 1523 when the very first cattle were brought to America. The cowboys most recognized today originated in Texas after cattle became wild. The price of cattle was higher outside of Texas, giving herders a reason to risk their lives and drive cattle long distances for profits.

A red and green glass ball ornament that says Merry Christmas Y'all and fits perfectly on a western themed Christmas tree. |

It’s easy to see how this job was fantasized and turned into American legend, since it represents freedom and prosperity. This job was also very tough and required rugged men to do the work. One myth about cowboys often discussed is how they weren’t usually the wise “knightly” types portrayed in movies.

Many cowboys were in their early 20s, and more than a third were African-American or Hispanic. It wasn’t a very well-respected job, and they were considered more like “a hired hand with a borrowed horse,” according to historian David T. Courtwrite.

Nonetheless, American cowboys went down in history for the brief 20-year period they traversed the American Great Plains, and the culture created by them has been passed down for generations to develop the western heritage we recognize today.

Cowboy Ornaments

Two of our most popular categories include Western ornaments and Patriotic ornaments. We always keep these two categories stocked for our  top Christmas ornament fans! Red, white and blue ornaments look so dazzling on Christmas trees, and that’s why patriotic tree themes are so popular to honor our family, country and heritage. Western ornaments have wonderful characteristics and are so much fun to browse. You can look for cowboy ornaments across our site of over 5,000 unique personalized Christmas ornaments.

A glass ball with sparkly cowboy boots, perfect for a cowboy or cowgirl for Christmas gifts. | Ornament Shop
A cowboy hat ornament, perfect for cowboys and cowgirls for Christmas gifts. | Ornament Shop
A plaque ornament to be personalized with a horseback rider's name, surrounded by horse accessories, perfect for Christmas gifts. | Ornament Shop
A ball ornament of an equestrian man on a horse. | Ornament Shop
A personalized horse Christmas ornament of a black horse in a red barn. | Ornament Shop

Where to Celebrate Western Heritage?

Cowboys influenced many states, from Alabama to California, and Texas to North Dakota! Museums can be found all over that work to preserve not only cowboy culture, but the culture of Native Americans, farmers, drifters and the pioneer women who were survivalists of the Wild West.

The nonprofit, National Day of the Cowboy, helps support monuments, museums, radio shows, scholarships, and publications that preserve western culture, and have listed unique places to visit. I chose a few that you might want to see for yourself:

  • The Canadian Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame in Alberta, Canada.
  • The Hubble Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona.
  • The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • The Leanin’ Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art in Boulder, Colorado.
  • The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Oklahoma.

You might also have fun with their list of western-theme activities. Some of these you can do yourself at home, and others you can look for in your own community. It includes a potluck with ranch recipes, country music concerts, a cowboy hat toss, and horseback riding.

From the music cowboys played, to the landmarks they traveled through, they left a big impact on Americans and even the rest of the world.

More Cowboy Gifts for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas gifts inspire warm thoughts of apple pie and campfires. There are so many personalized Christmas ornaments that are perfect for celebrating these “under the starry sky” feelings of the great out doors. Think of the most wonderful times of the year your cowboy or cowgirl friend must have experienced and find just the right ornament to memorialize their best memories of the year.

A bacon and eggs Christmas ornament, the perfect Christmas gift for a cowboy. | Ornament Shop

What is your favorite part about American Western culture? Tell us in the comments below!