Summer is here, which means El Dorado County is fixin’ to celebrate its cowboy culture. Placerville, a charming, gold rush era town, located in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, celebrates its western heritage at the annual Cowboys & Cornbread, a day-long series of events that attracts visitors from around the state.
Held every July at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds., Cowboys & Cornbread brings together an eclectic group of harmonica-playing, mutton-busting, poetry-reciting cowboys, all packaged in a tasty culinary wrapper that includes the state’s finest chili, salsa and, of course, cornbread.
Cowboys & Cornbread Events
Chili Cook Off and Salsa Contest
The event kicks off with a fiery Chili Cook Off and Salsa contest, where cooks from around the county compete to be recognized among the best of the best. Winners for best chili and best salsa are selected by popular vote by the taste-testing fans.
High Noon in El Dorado County means its cornbread time. Entrants prepare a loaf or muffins for judging by local judges, and the best cornbread takes home a cash prize of $50.
Hangtown Harmonica Championship Competition
The Hangtown Harmonica Championship, the highlight of Cowboys & Cornbread, is a rollicking, high-stakes completion between the best harmonica players in the area. Kids 11 and under can participate in a competition designed especially for the younger set.
Annual Championship Horse Show
A cowboy event wouldn’t be any fun without horses, and the annual horse show is sure to impress. The area’s leading equestrians compete and demonstrate in a variety of divisions, including Halter, English, Reining, Trail, Gaited and Western styles.
Hangtown Horseshoe Championship Tournament
Two-member teams compete against one another in a double-elimination style valtrex buy online event, to claim the top three prizes.
Mutton Bustin’ young cowboys and cowgirls get decked out in their best western outfits, grab a helmet and a fistful of wool and attempt to ride (and by ride, we may grab ahold and hang on for dear life) a full-grown sheep.
Pee Wee Rodeo
Young wranglers test their chops at the Pee Wee Rodeo, where they compete in Stick Horse, Barrel Racing and Hay Bucking competitions.
Not a competing sort? Kids can still get your giddy “up” on, by enjoy a more tame activities, pony rides atop some of the county’s most charming critters.
Face painting, roping, a petting zoo and a completion games are part of the fun for kids at Cowboys & Cornbread.
Take a trip back in time and hop a ride on an authentic period stagecoach for an unforgettable experience. With the Sheriff’s Posse patrolling the Fair Grounds there’s no need to fear bandits and highway robbers on this journey, but if you’ve taken home the top purse for your cornbread, probably best to hide your loot, just in case.
Panning for Gold
Enjoy an authentic Gold Rush era experience, and learn a thing or two about what panning for gold was really like.
Although modern ways have found a home in Placerville, the art of blacksmithing has not been forgotten. See how period tools were used, and watch as blacksmiths hammer away at a piece of raw iron, molding it into one of life’s necessities or a beautiful piece of art.
Live Music and Cowboy Poetry
Continuous entertainment will be available all day long. Enjoy the music or get up and do a little two-step. Performer Halie O’Ryan will teach the audience the Virginia Glide.
El Dorado County Fairgrounds
July 20, 2014
Cowboys & Cornbread