Family-friendly Memorial Day festival links community to the American West

Families and foodies alike will delight at the 30th Annual Chuck Wagon Festival, a celebration of Western and Native American history, art and cuisine for all ages held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 29-30.


This year’s Chuck Wagon Festival will include Liichokoshkomo’, the Museum’s newest interactive outdoor addition showcasing the diversity of the west with inter-tribal native dwellings, a pioneer village and interactive natural history features.


“We are excited to host our Annual Chuck Wagon Festival and offer an even more immersive experience to visitors, bringing new demonstrations and new people to our cherished celebration of the west,” Natalie Shirley, Museum President and CEO said. “After such a challenging year, we are thrilled to bring back this fun, family tradition for its 30th year.” 


For the first time ever, Native American food samples will be available at this year’s festival. Visitors can chat with the chef and learn more about the histories and traditions of Native foods. Chuck Wagon cooks, several of whom are long-time festival participants, will travel from around Oklahoma and surrounding states to provide visitors with a taste of traditional cowboy cooking.


Visitors can also enjoy artisan demonstrations, Western reenactors, archery, craft stations, country and western dancing, live music performed by Rodeo Opry and more. John R. Erickson, author of the popular “Hank the Cowdog” series, will be at the Festival Sunday reading and signing his books and meeting fans. 


Liichokoshkomo’ spans 100,000 square feet, providing room for families to social distance as they enjoy the festivities. The Cowboy will continue to monitor city and state ordinances concerning crowd size, masking guidelines and social distancing to ensure the Chuck Wagon Festival is as safe as possible for all involved.


Foodies and Chuck Wagon Festival visitors can follow the Cowboy Museum blog at for updates, western recipes, cooking tips and the history of cooking on the range.


Admission is $15 per person for the general public and free for members and children 12 and under. Family memberships for the Museum start at $65 for a family of four. Families may purchase a Membership and enjoy the festival for free. Foster families can attend for free thanks to the Arnall Family Foundation. All crafts and activities are free with admission, except food from The Museum Grill and souvenirs from The Museum Store.


The Dogwood Foundation returns as the presenting sponsor for the event. Event sponsors include Shawnee Milling Company, Ben E. Keith Foods, P&K Equipment and Schwab Meat Co.