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Smokey Hills Wranglers Chuck Wagon Supper Show
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The Smokey Hills Wranglers Chuck Wagon Supper Show carries on a historical tradition of the old west. 50 years ago the “Flying W Chuck Wagon” started up in Colorado Springs. Two people attended the first performance. Now almost 1500 people gather each night to be fed and entertained. Other chuck wagon supper shows in locations like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Rapid City, South Dakota offer the same friendly hospitality, good cowboy food, and great traditional western music each season to tens of thousands of guests who love the old west experience. Now you can find it in Northern Minnesota.

The chuck wagon cook, “Cookie”, ruled the trail drives and most of the time he was crabby. The chuck wagon was so important that nobody referred to it as the chuck wagon; they just called it the wagon. It was the wrangler’s home, where his bedroll was stashed during the day and where he kept his one pair of extra jeans and a clean shirt. Some of them had an old guitar or a fiddle rolled up in a quilt. That is where a lot of cowboy songs first were heard. No matter how green he was, a cowboy soon learned that you never rode your horse into cookie’s fire pit area and you never tied your horse to a wagon wheel. If you wanted to eat your next meal you didn’t leave your plate laying on the ground, you put it in the wrecking pan. Cookie wouldn’t do it for you.

At the Smokey Hills Chuck Wagon there is an easy going, tall fellow named Mark "Cookie" Bridge whose ancestors helped settle western South Dakota and Colorado. Not only is he a good Dutch oven cook but he has had years of experience entertaining people with his banjo, mandolin, and guitar. When you eat in his camp you will have tender roast beef, cowboy beans, red hot potatoes, hot biscuits, and you will top it off with cobbler and cowboy spice cake. If you don’t like beef, grab a piece of chicken. Don’t forget your cowboy coffee - strong enough to float a horseshoe.

When you have eaten your fill, you dump your dishes in the wrecking pan and the show begins. Four of the best traditional western musicians in Minnesota will entertain you. There is Sheldon Schiebe who is known for his vocals and mandolin. Dave Karam, on guitar, whose true love is the smooth sound of the cowboy songs so many of us heard as kids. “Cookie” makes a banjo talk and used to play with the Circle B Cowboys and the Custer Park Chuck Wagon Show. And Dick Max, who joins in and ties the whole bunch together with his upright bass. You will hear old favorites sung just the way the Sons of the Pioneers did it, or Gene and Roy. You can sing along as they play Home on the Range and Red River Valley and many others.

Guests are invited to come early for a Dutch oven cooking demonstration. Wear your comfortable jeans, boots and cowboy hat - and come hungry.

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