Chuck wagons to bring cowboy cooking to Lebanon Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
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Seventh annual Wagons  for Warriors event features  parade, celebrity guests

By Matt Decker
Assistant editor
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More than 150 years ago, the chuck wagon became a vital part of daily life along America’s cattle trails. Today, they are a rare and treasured sight, seen mostly in competitions, cook-offs and occasionally serving cow hands on a handful of working ranches.

A chuck wagon crew member serves cobbler to a ticketholder during the 2016 Wagons for Warriors event at the Laclede County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 30 chuck wagons and their crews.
A chuck wagon crew member serves cobbler to a ticketholder during the 2016 Wagons for Warriors event at the Laclede County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 30 chuck wagons and their crews.
Area residents will get a chance to see more than 30 authentic chuck wagons over two days, when the seventh annual Wagons for Warriors event comes to Lebanon May 26 and 27.

“We  have wagons coming in from nine different states across the United States,” said Steve Hull, the owner of a 19th-century Brown chuck wagon and a founding member of the Wagons for Warriors nonprofit organization that hosts the event each year.

Aside from getting a chance to savor authentic cowboy cuisine and visiting with chuck wagon crews, this year’s event will give attendees a chance to see some celebrity guests.

Events begin with a parade at 1 p.m. May 26 along Elm Street in Lebanon, which is located along Historic Route 66.

“We have nine chuck wagons that will take part in the parade, which will go down Route 66, starting at the Graven Chrysler Dodge parking lot all the way to the Laclede County Fairgrounds,” Hull said. “Our parade marshall and master of ceremonies is actor Buck Taylor. He was was on ‘Gunsmoke;’ he was in the movie ‘Tombstone,’ and has been in several movies.”

Once at the fairgrounds, which are adjacent to the Cowan Civic Center, the chuck wagon crews will join others and make camp, where they’ll spend the night until cooking begins early Saturday morning.

“They’ll be out there at 5 a.m. starting fires to get ready to start cooking,” Hull said.

The crews will begin serving lunch at noon. While most events are free, the lunch requires tickets, which are $10 per person. Advance tickets are available at the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, Hairy’s Salon, Heritage Bank of the Ozarks, Infuze Credit Union, Mid Missouri Bank and VFW Post 4107 in Lebanon, and at Jones Investment Group in St. Robert. Tickets are free for children ages 5 and younger.

Just prior to the lunch, the event will hold an opening ceremony, featuring a fly-in by retired Sgt. 1st Class Dana Bowman, a former Golden Knights parachutist who lost both legs in a skydiving accident in 1994. He later became the first double amputee to reenlist in the Army before retiring in 1996, and has spoken to hundreds of organizations and groups since that time.

“Dana will be parachuting in on the 27th around noon with a 2,000-square-foot American flag,” Hull said.

Other celebrity guests taking part in Wagons for Warriors include Kent and Shannon Rollins, who have been featured on several cooking shows, including the Food Network. 

“Kent Rollins is the chuck wagon cook who beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network’s ‘Throwdown.’ He has a huge following and several cookbooks,” Hull said.

Also on hand will be the Fort Leonard Wood USO therapy service dogs, Bandit and Maverick, and the Finley River Boys will provide live music, beginning at 10 a.m. May 27.

For more information about Wagons for Warriors, visit the group’s Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/wagonsforwarriors/.
 
Last Updated ( Friday, 26 May 2017 )