Cowboy Days celebrated its 86th year between Friday, Sept. 2, and Monday, Sept. 5. According to Dustin Matthews, the president of the event, most attractions were quite successful. The PRCA rodeos, which featured many noteworthy contestants, drew in a crowd of nearly 10,000 throughout its three days. Also noteworthy was the fish catch, which had a substantial number of spectators and participants. Adults and children alike surrounded the pool until the fish were gone, and children who left without a fish received free admission to Saturday’s rodeo.
The concerts failed to draw in many visitors, but everyone present seemed to enjoy the performers, according to Matthews. Monday’s Rotary pancake breakfast, on the other hand, had few empty tables and a seemingly perpetual inflow of enthusiastic guests. The parade continued this trend, as it had a sizable crowd cheering and laughing until it came to a conclusion.
Throughout the weekend, the fairgrounds saw approximately 65 vendors set up shop at the fairgrounds, selling food, clothing and other items from morning to night.
Despite its swift ending, Cowboy Days is already preparing for year 87. Matthews said 2023 is in the planning stage and some vendors are already on the schedule. If the event follows its pattern in relation to Labor Day, 2023’s Cowboy Days will run from Friday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 4.
Brandon Davis Concert at Cowboy Days
Country singer and song writer Brandon Davis had the crowd rocking and dancing to his music on Friday, Sept. 2, for the Cowboy Days main concert. The concert was held in the rodeo arena and sponsors and special guests had seats right in front of the stage.
Davis, who is from Tennessee, was a relative newcomer when Dustin Matthews, chair of the Cowboy Days committee, signed him up to come to Evanston, so he got a good deal on the cost.
“Brandon is really popular on social media,” Matthews said. “After we signed him up to come here, he spent the whole summer opening for Tim McGraw, so we were lucky to get him.”
Davis performed many popular country western songs as well as some of his own. A favorite of his fans which has been played often on social media is one titled, “Destiny” which is biographical. The song talks about his brush with death when his car was hit by a texting driver and that destiny led him to his new musical career.
Matthews said, “Working with Davis was a joy, he was friendly and personable. He is going to be a big name in the music world.”
Throughout the evening, Davis shared personal stories about his wife and daughters and interacted with the audience. At one point when a little girl was dancing below the stage, he knelt down and sang to her; another time he knelt and fist-bumped a little boy who was standing below the stage watching Davis’s every move.
“The crowd at the concert was not as big as we had hoped but those that were there appeared to have a really good time,” Matthews said. “Cowboy Days overall was a super success. We are really excited with the way it turned out.”