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West Fest Lets You Go to the Frontier Without Leaving Indiana

It's Saturday at the Eiteljorg Museum at White River State Park.

INDIANAPOLIS--If you've never been out west, and don't plan on going any time soon, no worries. You and the kids can get into some of the culture of the American west Saturday at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.

West Fest-The Stage Coach and The Bands

West Fest starts at 10 Saturday morning, said Bryan Corbin, with the museum. It's outside, on the grounds.

"We'll have western-style performances throughout the day," said Corbin, who said it's a fun day for families to experience the feel of the west, and also learn about the multicultural history of the American west. 

If you've ever seen a Johny Wayne western, or Gunsmoke, you know that if you wanted to get around long distances, you traveled by stage coach. You'll be able to get a sample of what that was like, Saturday.

"We'll have rides on the Wells-Fargo stage coach, a chuck wagon cooking cowboy food over a fire, horses, blacksmith and western-themed games and activities for kids," said Corbin.

Music was also an important part of western culture, and still is. 

"The band is called The Midwestern Swing, which is a cowboy swing band, maybe think early Willie Nelson. The cowgirl singer is Mary Kay of Escalante, Utah, who is an acclaimed guitarist and vocalist."

The Rope Tricks and the Art

But, maybe the most visual of all the entertainment is the trick roper.

"Our trick roper is Mart Tipton, who performs under the stage  name 'The Oklahoma Kid', and he does some really amazing feats with his lassos," said Corbin.

If you go inside, you'll be able to see some of the amazing western art. Quest for the West is an exhibit from a variety of artists and there are also landscape paintings by Peter Nisbet.

Admission gets you both inside and outside for West Fest-$13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $7 for kids 5 to 17. Admission is free for kids four and under.

PHOTO: Thinkstock/Rolf Nau

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