37th Annual Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale

37th Annual Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale title=
37th Annual Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale
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Event Date: 
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 08:00 to Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 20:00

You’re invited to saddle up, “shop ‘til you drop” and enjoy fun for the whole family at the 37th Annual Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale to benefit the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum


Meet the 2021 Vaquero of the Year, John McCarty, at the  

Gala, Friday evening, November 12th at 5 p.m. 


Watch Traditional Vaquero Horsemanship Demonstrations by Heather Kornemann

 on Saturday, November 13 


New! Pig Roast and Barn Dance on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Pork Palace, with live country-swing music by Monte Mills & the Lucky Horseshoe Band!


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Artwork Courtesy of Ernie Morris, Artist


(Santa Ynez, CA, October 26, 2021) – The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks-Janeway Carriage House (SYVHM) is thrilled to announce the return of the Santa Ynez Valley’s most popular fall event celebrating Western lifestyle and horsemanship in the community - the 37th Annual Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale, on November, 12, 13 and 14. The 3-day fundraising event, honoring the unique culture and equine skills of the California ``Vaquero” (cowboy), takes place at SYVHM, located at 3596 Sagunto Street in Santa Ynez, California. 


The Friday evening Gala on November 12 takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. - a historically sold-out event. There will be cocktails and wine generously provided by Gainey Vineyards and a sumptuous dinner prepared by Testa Catering. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the annual “Vaquero of the Year” award, which goes to John McCarty, a legendary cattleman. 


The annual Vaquero Show is the Museum's most critical fundraising event of the year. To that end there will be a live auction with a wide variety of exclusive items available to bid on including  a condo stay in Hawaii, fly fishing trip, and much more. The paddle raise auction generates funding for the Museum’s growing essential programs for school children and adults. Tickets cost $200 per person. They are on sale now and may be purchased by calling 805 688 7889 or on the Museum’s website: santaynezmuseum.org


The fun continues at the Vaquero Sale on Saturday November 13 from 10 a.m.  to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a shopping experience that features a gathering of noted artisans and collectors from throughout the western United States as well as local vendors. The craftspeople will have on display for sale hand-tooled leather saddles, braided Vaquero-styled riatas, bridles, reins, and other Vaquero inspired horse tack as well as quality Western artwork, apparel, jewelry, memorabilia, house decor and collectibles. 


Both Saturday and Sunday feature a variety of fun things to do for the entire family. There will be  traditional Vaquero horsemanship demonstrations by Heather Kornemann. Also, colorful demonstrations of traditional dances that were popular during the days of local Vaquero fiestas performed by Baile de California. Visitors will enjoy a delicious lunch available for sale catered by the Elks Lodge.


New for 2021 is a pig roast and barn dance on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the famed Pork Palace, home of “Heritage Pork.” The venue is located 3 miles south of Buellton at 1503 Highway 101. The crowd, clad in their best jeans and boots, will dance to live country-Western swing music performed by Monte Mills & the Lucky Horseshoe Band. Monte has become an icon of the California Central Coast. He’s not only one of the last of the yodeling cowboys... he's the best!  A farrier and auctioneer by trade, he's more than just a singing cowboy. He's part of life around the Valley and beyond. Monte has been instrumental in keeping traditional Western swing country music alive introducing it to thousands each year. Single tickets are $65 and family tickets are $125. They may be purchased in advance at the Vaquero Show, online at santaynezmuseum.org or at the door. 


“On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and our valued vendors, we are excited to welcome back our members and visitors, hailing from all over Santa Barbara County and beyond, to our beloved Museum and for what promises to be a memorable Vaquero weekend, says Joe Olla, SYVHM Immediate Past President and 2021 Vaquero Organizing Committee Chair. “We have worked diligently to create a safe and inviting  atmosphere for you to participate in fantastic activities. And it’s a great place to shop for holiday items for family and friends, or yourself, while supporting our mission.”


Vaqueros developed on the expansive cattle ranchos of Central California during the Spanish/Mexican Colonial period. They blended classic European horsemanship and the ‘rough and ready’ riding style of early California ranchers. A distinctive style of apparel, tack, saddles and other unique horse equipment evolved over time. These skilled horsemen were, in the mid-1800s, considered some of the finest equestrians in the world. The rich Vaquero culture continues to thrive today, as seen at the Museum’s  37th fall celebration, which honors these skilled horsemen and their craft.

Brian Stenfors, Ph.D., Museum Director, states that, “After 20 months of facing challenges due to the pandemic, the SYVHM family is delighted to see familiar and new faces at this year’s Vaquero event. We put together an amazing array of educational and cultural activities that showcase the spirit of the American West, specifically the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s one of the many ways we work to make history come alive and preserve valued traditions for future generations. I encourage people to come out to enjoy the festivities; you’re guaranteed a fun time and it’s a great way to support our non-profit organization.”


SYVHM gratefully acknowledges the support of the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation and thanks all Vaquero sponsors.


Health and Safety requirements for attendance: 

In accordance with Santa Barbara County Health Department COVID mandates, all patrons must bring and wear their own face covering that fully covers both nose and mouth with ear loops (or similar) to hold it securely in place inside the galleries. Bandanas, gaiters and masks with external valves are not permitted. Face shields alone are not adequate protection. Mask-wearing is also strongly encouraged in outdoor spaces.


For more information or sponsorship, please contact Teresa Mills at (805) 688-7889 Ext. 104 or at info@santaynezmuseum.org.




Founded in 1961, the mission of the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks-Janeway Carriage House is “Preserving, interpreting and celebrating the history of human experience in California’s Santa Ynez Valley and Central Coast by informing, educating, inspiring and engaging Museum guests of all ages and backgrounds.” The Museum is the official caretaker of the Valley’s rich cultural history, housing one of the finest collections of antique, horse-drawn carriages and wagons in the Western United States, examples of finely crafted Chumash and other Native American basketry, pottery and artifacts, one-of-a-kind horse saddlery and tack from days gone by and Western sculptures, paintings, books and handicrafts. As  the “hub” for social gatherings in the Valley, the Museum sponsors events and celebrations throughout the year including gallery openings, Festival of the Vines, Vaquero Gala, Show and Sale, Wild West Camp and educational tours for children and food and wine tastings that highlight the economic importance of the wine and agricultural industries in shaping the Valley’s future. To learn more, visit and become a member, visit www.santaynezmuseum.org.

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