Hometown Pride Tour: Rawhide and Ruffles

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - We are only one day away from the 91st annual Clay County Pioneer Reunion. So far we have highlighted the kickoff luncheon, the floats and parades, but this year’s annual event also came with a big announcement.

A musical that tells the history of Clay County will once again take center stage. It’s called Rawhide and Ruffles. While you will have to wait until next year to see it, just the fact that this production is making its return after 50 years is stirring up a lot of excitement.

“We didn’t know we’d be around but here we are,” Jacquetta Graves, playwright of Rawhide and Ruffles, said.” Yeah, we’re excited about it, we’re excited to be included. The young people that get to participate this time, see if they’ll be around another 50 years.”

The historic musical production is making a comeback for its 50-year anniversary.

“About 1972, I was approached to see if I could write a play featuring the history of Clay County and I knew nothing about writing a play, but I said yes,” Graves said. “I don’t know why, but I said I’ll do that, so I wrote Rawhide and Ruffles.”

Rawhide and Ruffles was not your average musical. It was a huge production that became a staple in the Clay County community.

“We did a full scale, all county play with musicians and actors and cowboys,” Graves said. “We went all out and we had this performance in the rodeo arena in 1973 and it was a success.”

“In years past, the one in 73, we had over 200 people in the cast,” Chris Scheer, director of Rawhide and Ruffles, said. ”Everybody in the county participated I believe, and we’re hoping to do the same this year.”

Members have expressed their excitement to Graves about next year’s production and what better way to bring it back than to celebrate 50 years.

“That makes me excited that they want to see this play again and it’ll be a little bit scaled-down but we’re going to do it up,” Graves said.

Scheer says he will be happy to leave even half the mark the original play had on the generation fifty years ago.

“Over the years, they even named streets after rawhides and there’s a ruffles and there’s a centennial edition,” Scheer said. “It’s become a famous production for our little town.”

They have already started planning for the production and look forward to starting casting at the beginning of the year.

“The date we’re looking at right now is September the 9th, 2023, so mark that on your calendars,” Graves said.

As we have the musical to look forward to next year, festivities for this year’s Pioneer Reunion will start on Thursday the 15th with the Cowboy Kickoff Parade followed by the presentation of Pioneer Queen, and ending with the rodeo that night.