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Don't Bet Against Cowboy Spirit

Editor, The Herald:

I'd like to take the time to answer some of the questions that many people are asking me about Cowboy Day.

While everyone is entitled to an opinion, I feel that I can speak on behalf of the Tom Mix Rangers and the foundation of the event since I was key at its inception.

I in no way feel any malice or bitterness to anyone involved in the event and very much appreciate everyone who put their time, effort and money into the making of what has been a very positive event for Buckingham County and the surrounding area.

The number one question asked to me has been “Why was it moved from the Historic Village?” That choice was made by the Historic Village for a number of reasons, one being the July heat (It's a National Day, always on the 4th Saturday in July-not one of my choosing or a randomly picked day). Another is parking and staffing. Basically the event had out-grown the park (We are still on very good terms with the park and continue to work with them on events).Whatever the reason, it was not our choice.

Another question is “How much money did I make from Cowboy Day?” That very simply is not one cent! The Tom Mix Rangers, Point Judith (my band) nor I personally has ever been paid or made any money from any of the four events. I even paid some of the performers out of my pocket, so I have actually lost money in Cowboy Day, but my goal has always been the greater good of Buckingham and Central Virginia.

“Why were ticket prices so high this year?”…Cowboy day for the first three years was set up with this formula-bring in a movie/t.v. star or two-the bands/vendors/exhibitors were all working for free, just to be a part of this event-and the people would come to meet the stars because we don't really get to meet many celebrities in the area. The $5 ticket price times 1,000 people more than paid for the stars' fees. Everyone made money, everyone was happy. Lionheart Resorts decided to expand on the event, which is not a bad thing if done properly.

Again, I really like what Lionheart is trying to bring to our area-jobs, entertainment and a family friendly venue. We should all be supportive of what they can bring to all of Virginia.

I'm proud of all our performers who endured the obstacles and put 110% into the show, Lionheart for its effort and all our guests for sharing our passion for keeping this event alive.

And the last question, “Will there be another Cowboy Day show next year?”…I honestly can't say at this time. The old saying “Never say never” comes to mind…I wouldn't bet against the spirit of the Cowboys here, that with the spirit of Virginians makes a mighty powerful force…Only time will tell.

Thank you all for your support!

Mitch Toney

Tom Mix Rangers V.P.

Point Judith Band

Buckingham's Cowboy Day Founder