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Monday, September 18, 2006

COWTOWN - A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

A world within a world lies hidden surrounded by the lush, green farmland of Salem County, New Jersey. This is the world of the cowboy. This is rootin' tootin' land.

When most people think about the tiny area of land officially called New Jersey, visions of crowded roads, dirty cities and rude people who speak with a distinctive, grating accent appear. But such is not case - at least not everywhere. Do you believe that there is a place, located in a state known for its cold snobbishness, where one can see cowboy boots, occasionally sight a ten-gallon hat and locate a few western apparel stores, to boot? My friends, it's called Cowtown, and I've never been anywhere else quite like it.

Cowtown is best known for its weekly summer rodeos which attract some of the best competitors in the rodeo circuit, or so I am told. Located in the County of Salem, historically an agrarian community, Cowtown Rodeo is the Saturday evening place to go for locals. Although I always loved the rare occasions when we as a family attended the Cowtown Rodeo, my great passions in life do not include roping a calf in a few mere seconds, or attempting to kill oneself while riding a bull, but nonetheless the rodeo holds a dear spot in my heart.

Last Saturday morning found me accompanying my great-aunt and cousin to the Cowtown Market, a subsidiary of the Cowtown Rodeo. Cowtown Market is truly a one-of-the-kind place. A jumble of farmers selling their produce, immigrants hawking their wares, tough Philly guys with stuff to sell, some cowboy hopefuls sporting both boots and hats and a general feeling of people trying to make a buck. It is a fun and delicious smelling atmosphere (did I mention the tantalizing aromas of soft pretzels, cheesesteaks, funnel cakes and hoagies all hanging over the area like a dreamy haze?). Sounds of smooth-talking salesmen attempting to convince potential buyers of their amazing sales mingle freely with the haggling offers of customers trying to make a deal.

I suppose Cowtown Market's uniqueness lies in the combination of its city-like vending stalls and cowboy country atmosphere. Where else can you admire sparkling gold watches and adorable handbags with the faint smell of manure added to the ever present aroma of a sizzling steak? Unusual, yes, but I like it; minus the manure smell, of course.

So, if ever in the area, you'll simply have to stop by and see this unique cultural phenomenon - Cowtown, New Jersey. I don't think you will be disappointed.
~Cara

3 Comments:

Blogger sugarcubed said...

Here's to the cowboys who make Cowtown so great!

Here's to the vendors of delicious funnel cake!

Here's to the marketers, hawking their wares!

And here's to the good times we remember having there!

Go Cowtown!!!

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Khristi said...

Can you bring home a cheesesteak for me, Cara ;) We miss you so very much!
Love in Jesus,
~Khristi

4:27 AM  
Blogger The Horn Family said...

Les,
How wonderful it was to see you this past week. I loved our time together and only wished I could have spent more. Please give your dear mother a hug for me.

Khristi,
Sorry dear, no cheesesteaks found their way into my bags this time. Besides, a true Philly cheesesteak has to be eaten in the Delaware Valley for it to taste the best - perhaps the air there is more condusive. :)
Lord willing I shall see you Sunday!

~Cara

8:43 PM  

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