Western party theme - thumbnail image

The company picnics my husband's employer throws are always enjoyable. They have a different theme every year. His company has over four hundred employees, so the picnics are always a colossal event. This year, they really outdid themselves by creating an old time western barbeque on the grounds of the company office complex. There were dozens of picnic tables, a huge barbeque grill where the local catering company cooked up steaks and hamburgers to order and there was a full country-style buffet of picnic favorites like: Corn on the cob, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans and freshly baked corn bread. There was lemonade and sodas for everyone and wine and beer for the adults.

Near the picnic area, a a country western band played music on a stage while some of the guests were on the dance floor learning country line dancing or square dancing. While the band took a break a group of American Indians performed tribal dances to traditional Native American music. They were facinating to watch. Before each dance a Native American boy explained the meanings behind them.

The kids wanted to go on the pony ride over and over again. A professional roper who gave lessons on how to use a lasso. I tried it and found it wasn't easy to get the rope around even an unmoving post. My husband took some photos of the professional roper performing some tricks, then of me messing up.

One highlight of the afternoon was a pie tasting competition. Apparently this event was a long standing tradition and every year employees vied for the title of the companies' best apple pie baker. This year there were at least two dozen contestants. Everyone got to taste each pie and vote on which they liked best. The one with the most votes recieved a trophy that was passed from winner to winner and kept until the next contest was held the following year.

Later in the afternoon, a gun shot rang though the picnic. At first I was concerned, but my husband told me the company always put on some sort of re-enactment. a cowboy in a black hatand his bad bunch of outlaws were trying to take over the "town". The CEO played was dressed in a western costume and played the part of the Sheriff and told them they had best leave town. The bad guys left but they threatened to be back very soon.

The Sheriff asked for volunteers for his posse. My husband, our two boys and several other kids and their fathers, volunteered. The rest of us watched as the Sheriff and his posse told their new recruits what to do when the bad guys returned.

And return, they did, unfortunately, the bad guys outnumbered the good guys. The good guys were more clever and had set up traps. The show was terrific. The shoot outs were exciting, the stunt falls thrilling and the traps were hilarious. Afterward, the Sheriff passed our honorary sheriff's badges to all the volunteers.

Our family had our portrait taken by an old-time photographer. We all put on authentic costumes and the pictures would come out looking like turn-of- the-century tin-types. Everyone loved how it came out and now we finally a family portrait out where everyone can see it.