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Arts and Entertainment

Christmas, chuckwagon style

Bar D Wranglers to host holiday jubilee
Durango’s Bar D Wranglers

Durango’s Bar D Wranglers will tip their hats to the holiday season Thursday with their annual Christmas Jubilee – an evening of entertainment featuring tall tales, holiday songs, cowboy poetry and plenty of humor.

As the in-house entertainment for Durango’s Bar D Chuckwagon since 1969, the Wranglers don’t leave the ranch often. But they make an exception for the holidays, said Wrangler Gary Cook, who has been playing guitar for the group for more than 25 years.

“We look forward to seeing all of our friends,” Cook said. “This is a fun time for us to get together with all of them.”

Cook said the Wranglers will be putting their western spin on traditional Christmas songs. They’ll tell a few stories, and they’ll probably tease a few members of the audience at the family-friendly show, which typically sells out.

“It really is a fun time,” he said.

The Wranglers’ home base, the Bar D Chuckwagon, was founded in 1969 by Cy Scarborough. The Wranglers have been performing dinner theater at the ranch each summer since – these days, they play seven nights a week from Memorial to Labor Day weekends.

Along with Cook, who is a two-time national flat-pick champion guitar player, the Wranglers consist of bass Joel Racheff, Matt Palmer and Richard Espinoza.

Though Scarborough retired years back, he traditionally joins the Wranglers for a song or two during the Christmas Jubilee at the Concert Hall.

The Christmas Jubilee tradition began about 15 years ago, Cook said, after the Wranglers began taking their shows off the ranch during their off seasons. Today, the Wranglers take their holiday concert on a small tour around the Four Corners each winter. Cook said it’s a good way for the Wranglers to reconnect, and Durango’s show is always their favorite.

“It feels good to get everyone back together,” he said. “It’s good for us, it gets us in the holiday spirit.”


If you go

The Bar D Wranglers will perform their Christmas Jubilee at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive. Visit www.durangoconcerts.com for more information.

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