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

Cowboy Fun at Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum 37th Vaquero Gala Weekend title=
Guests loved country dancing to Monte Mills & the Lucky Horseshoe Band
Reads 2020

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 John McCarty, legendary cattleman, at the annual Gala held in the Museum and is a long-awaited event for area locals and museum supporters. Testa Catering and Gainey Vineyards provided a delicious dinner and wine pairing, and auction items included a trip to Hawaii, and the fly-fishing adventure, along with a bevy of other tempting items. The three-day event is the major fundraiser for the museum and was touted as being a major success by museum officials.

Throughout the weekend visitors and supporters took tours, savored food & beverages, watched Traditional Vaquero Horsemanship Demonstrations by Heather Kornemann, and enjoyed local Vaquero fiestas performed by Baile de California. Attendees also enjoyed shopping for specialty gifts at the Vaquero sale and perusing the museum exhibits honoring the unique culture and equine skills of the California “Vaquero” life, many items featured the rich history of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. 

Randy Jones is host with the most at Pork Palace for 37th Annual Vaquero Dinner & Barn Dance


On Saturday night the Pig Roast and Barn Dance at The Pork Palace, 3 miles south of Buellton at 1503 Highway 101 (home of Heritage Pork), featured live country-swing music by Monte Mills & the Lucky Horseshoe Band and was the place to be. The cowboy decorations and outstanding roast pork dinner with all the trimmings were personally overseen by Randy Jones, owner of The Pork Palace and current board director of the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. He is a member of a proud farming family in Santa Ynez Valley since 1975. The Jones Farm pork products are renowned and are sold at Santa Barbara Farmer’s Markets on Saturday morning and at Goleta market on Sundays. I was surprised to learn 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 & the Lucky Horseshoe Band had everyone in the Pork Palace moving their boots to the fabulous country-swing music. It was a such fun to see everyone in their country western best attire having so much fun dining and dancing for charity. Guests also were bidding on wines, pork products, creative bakery delights and the 50/50 which was won by a young woman who donated it all back to the charity. 

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

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