TIDIOUTE, Pa. – The Hickory Creek Wilderness Ranch has a fun-filled Saturday night on tap.
The ranch will be hosting a Labor Day Weekend ‘Western Fest’ on Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m., and there’s going to be a boatload of entertainment, a night with ‘Showtime and the Cow Girls.’
“I think we’ve got a pretty good entertainment package put together,” said Tom Heenan of the Hickory Creek Wilderness Ranch.
That might be an understatement.
The evening will feature rodeo entertainer and comedian Dave ‘Showtime’ Meyer, as well as professional and amateur barrel racing and live music.
“He’s a really good comedian and an up-and-coming guy,” Heenan said. “He has a huge local following.”
When they were looking for a band, and, as Heenan puts it, they stumbled across a really good one in the Hunter Cook Band based out of Franklin.
“This Hunter Cook Band, this kid, is really up and coming,” Heenan said. “I had a guy that really knows country music and is always looking for up-and-coming entertainers in the Western World tell me about him. I called and talked to his dad, saw him on YouTube from Nashville. He got a band put together this year. He can do those Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Johnny Cash songs. He’s got a kid on the drums that can really beat those drums.”
The barrel riding is built around female athletes and will feature both amateurs and professionals.
“We have a bunch of amateurs, kids coming out through the 4-H program and then we have the pros,” Heenan said. “
The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Ages two and under are free.
“We just want to make an inexpensive, fun night of entertainment,” Heenan said.
It’s also a community-oriented event.
“We try and work with the local groups to put money in their pockets,” Heenan said. “We’ll have the fire department parking cars, the Sons of The American Legion will be selling beer and the Tidioute Community Charter School girls’ basketball team will be manning the concession stand.”
Heenan also noted that there will be quite a few veterans on hand as well as bikers, many of whom will take advantage of the campground the ranch offers.
It’s been a lot of hard work leading up to the event, but work that is ultimately worth it.
“You don’t leave something sit for 39 months and not have a tremendous amount of work and we did,” Heenan said. “We put a ton of money into the electrical system. We have 2,000 seats undercover. I’ve got my stadium lights, we got the bleachers’ pressure washed, just all sorts of things to get ready.”
The ranch has hosted world-class rodeo athletes in the past and Heenan indicated that is something they would like to do again in the near future, perhaps as soon as next year.
For now, however, they are focused on the night at hand.
“You never know,” he said. “We’re not driven by profit. We’re just trying to introduce people back to the arena and give them something fun to do.”