UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures to Participate in Kidcation Week, Celebrate the Vaquero

click to enlarge ITC docent Roland Castillo grew up in a family of vaqueros and even competed in Charreada – Mexican-style cowboy competitions.
ITC docent Roland Castillo grew up in a family of vaqueros and even competed in Charreada – Mexican-style cowboy competitions.

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures is participating in San Antonio’s Kidcation week with an eight day celebration of the Vaquero, or Texas Cowboy.

Kidcation turns the city into a children’s playground for a last big outing before the school year, and we have entry promotions and special programming next week centered on introducing adults and children to vaquero culture. Festivities begin with our Kidcation Cowboy Kickoff on August 6, and culminate in our annual “Vaquerocation," on August 14, a Free Family Sunday centered on the legacy of the Texas cowboy.

You can find us celebrating vaquero culture Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the museum and at the Kidcation Kick Off nearby at Hemisfair Park’s Yanaguana Gardens. All week there will be small crafts to enjoy at ITC, and then on Sunday, August 14 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Vaquerocation!

Experienced docents will be on hand to interpret several areas on the exhibit floor important to vaquero culture in Texas: The Jacal, or a frontier home popular in South Texas; the Casa Fuerte (fortified house) in the Tejano ranching area, built to protect ranchers on the frontier; and of course the Chuckwagon, home, kitchen, and community to many a Texan cowboy while
driving cattle across the state.
click to enlarge The chuckwagon display at the ITC
The chuckwagon display at the ITC

Children and adults can enjoy a number of crafts focused on vaquero culture. Learn about the history of branding and create your own brand to draw on a longhorn cutout, design a western vest, and visit the Spur Makin’ Station. Photo opportunities with cowboy ‘artifacts’ will be plentiful—perhaps you can find chaps to try on! For younger kids or families on the go, there will be Chuckwagon coloring pages and a Bandana Bracelet Booth. And people of all ages can learn to rope cattle with Mr. Roland, a South Texas vaquero that has been teaching people about Texan cowboy culture for nearly two decades at ITC! Special guests include Blue Star Museums and Casa Navarro.

From August 6 to 13 at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, adults get in for the children’s rate, and all eight days you can put any entrance fee spent towards a year-long family membership if you enjoy our vaquero programming and would like to do more as a member of ITC. Members can stop by the Bolo-Tie Makin’ Station on August 14 to pick up a cowboy or cowgirl hat for the special vaqueros in their life. If you’re not a member, you can join the membership program to start taking advantage of the VIP experience right away!


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