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WestFest brings American West experiences, music and fun to Eiteljorg Sept. 23

by | Sep 13, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Western swing band, a cowgirl guitarist performing cowboy trail songs and a champion trick-roper will bring Wild West-style entertainment to WestFest, an educational and fun-filled family festival on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.

Families can get a memorable taste of frontier life with authentic chuckwagon grub, stagecoach rides, games, demonstrations and performances during WestFest, held on museum grounds.

WestFest performers on the Fandango Stage include:

  • Trick-roper and comedian Marty Tipton, “The Oklahoma Kid,” who performs amazing rodeo twirling feats with a lasso.
  • Cincinnati-based band The Midwestern Swing, who perform cowboy swing music of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s with lap-steel guitar, upright bass and fiddle.
  • Acclaimed guitarist-vocalist Mary Kaye of Escalante, Utah, who performs original and classic Western trail songs.
  • Artist and Native flute player Tim Blueflint Ramel (Bad River Chippewa/Comanche) who is Artist in Residence at the Eiteljorg.

Throughout the interactive daylong festival, children can meet a real cowboy and his horse, pan for gold, sample chuckwagon fare cooked over a fire and compete in stickhorse rodeo events and other Western-themed games. The Wells Fargo stagecoach returns and will offer rides on the museum’s front drive. Demonstrations, storytelling and music will take place on museum grounds near the canal and inside the museum.

WestFest takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 and is included with regular museum admission. Adults are $13, seniors are $11, youth ages five to 17 are $7, and children ages four and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the museum or ordered online at Museum members are free. Parking in the White River State Park underground garage is free for Eiteljorg guests.

While attending WestFest, families also will enjoy seeing two new Western art exhibitions inside the Eiteljorg.  Quest for the West features 162 new and award-winning paintings and sculptures from today’s top artists of the West.  Light, Space, and Power includes stunning landscapes and seascapes by renowned Santa Fe painter P.A. Nisbet who was last year’s Quest Artist of Distinction.

WestFest is presented by the Sunrise Foundation with additional support provided by The Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Performance Schedule on the Fandango Stage, Saturday, Sept. 23:

10:30 a.m.        The Midwestern Swing, band, swing tunes   

11:30 a.m.         Marty Tipton, trick roper-comedian        

12:30 p.m.        Tim Blueflint Ramel, Native American flute

  1:00 p.m.        Mary Kaye, guitarist-vocalist, trail songs

  2:00 p.m.        The Midwestern Swing

  3:00 p.m.        Marty Tipton

  4:00 p.m.        Mary Kaye

More information about WestFest is at this link: Visitors are encouraged to wear their Western gear to WestFest, but please do not carry firearms or any replicas of firearms onto Eiteljorg grounds. Carrying firearms is prohibited at the museum which is private property.

About the Eiteljorg: 
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the Indigenous peoples of North America. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg Museum recently was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.

Image caption:
A chuckwagon, storytelling and music are included in the family-friendly events at WestFest on Sept. 23 at the Eiteljorg Museum. (Photo credit on file photo is courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum.)

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