Cowboy Fun at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum 37th Vaquero Gala Weekend


By Bonnie Carroll

The 37th Annual Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale to benefit the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum was a weekend to remember. The 2021 Vaquero of the Year Award was presented to legendary rancher John McCarty at the annual gala held at the museum and is a highly anticipated event for locals and museum supporters. Testa Catering and Gainey Vineyards offered a delicious dinner and wine pairing, and auction items included a trip to Hawaii and the fly-fishing adventure, along with a host of other items. tempting. The three-day event is the main fundraiser for the museum and has been touted as a major success by museum officials.

Throughout the weekend, visitors and supporters took tours, enjoyed food and drink, watched demonstrations of traditional Vaquero horsemanship by Heather Kornemann, and enjoyed local Vaquero parties performed by Baile de California. Attendees also enjoyed shopping for special gifts during the Vaquero sale and browsing the museum’s exhibits honoring the unique culture and equine skills of California’s “Vaquero” life, with many items showcasing the rich history of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. .

Randy Jones is Pork Palace’s hottest host for the 37th Annual Vaquero Dinner and Barn Dance

Saturday night, the Pig Roast and Barn Dance at Pork Palace, 3 miles south of Buellton at 1503 Highway 101 (home of Heritage Pork), featured live country-swing music from Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band and was the place to be. The cowboy decorations and exceptional roast pork dinner with all the trimmings were personally overseen by Randy Jones, Pork Palace owner and current director of the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum Board of Trustees. He has been a member of a proud farming family in the Santa Ynez Valley since 1975. Jones Farm pork products are renowned and sold at Santa Barbara Farmers Markets on Saturday mornings and Goleta Market on Sundays. . I was surprised to learn that they also offer customers online sales and pick up orders for lamb, goat, turkey, beef and pork at Fairview Farms in Goleta.

Music provided by Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band got everyone in the Pork Palace moving to fabulous country-swing music. It was so fun to see everyone in their best country western outfit having so much fun eating and dancing for charity. Guests also bid on wines, pork products, creative bakery delights and the 50/50 which was won by a young woman who donated everything to charity.

Be sure to put this delicious and historic Vaquero weekend on your calendar for next year because it’s nothing short of charming and delicious cowboy! Visit:

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Patrick F. Williams