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/// GIFT GUIDE COWFOLK


The cowboy and cowgirl have always been the model American symbol. Although the West Michigan cowfolk may not seem quite as rugged, they still look damn good in a Stetson. BY JAMI E L I NAR I


DO


Shopping for pearl-snap shirts at Millbrook Tack might seem like a holiday in its own for


the cowfolk on your list. As Michigan’s largest equestrian store, Millbrook Tack offers 20,000 square feet of western apparel, accessories and gifts. In addition to the pearl snaps, check out the huge selection of western boots. “Boots are extremely strong right now,” said Jim Vanderbeek, store manager. And they’re not just for those who want to keep their feet clean during poop-scooping duty. Vanderbeek said boots seem to be popular for everyone. The customers “seem to be coming out of the woodwork.”


Millbrook Tack 510 68th St. SW, Grand Rapids millbrooktack.com (616) 281-0777


DRINK


There’s no need to get fancy with your wrangler. A chilly can of Budweiser


is a cowboy’s perfect accompaniment to country music and karaoke at The Twisted Bull. A cold can is also a great way to quench a cowboy’s thirst after taking his chance on the mechanical bull. If you’re a


tenderfoot in the art of bull riding, don’t worry, it’s usually “just for fun,” said Head Bartender, Cindy Wheeler. “Once in a while we’ll have a contest for a small entry fee where winner takes all.”


The Twisted Bull 3230 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, twistedbull.net (616) 245-0531


LISTEN


Line dancing is only as good as the band that is playing the music. Luckily, Cowboy


Up has the perfect crew to accompany the two- step. High-powered South County is Southwest


Michigan’s up-and-coming country act. “We’re known for having a lot of energy,” said John Gardner, the band’s lead singer. And even though you might only be taking your cowboy to listen, don’t plan on getting too comfortable.


“Our goal is by the end of the first song to get the whole crowd dancing,” Gardner added.


South County at Cowboy Up Jan. 20-21, 9 p.m. 22046 Michigan 60, Mendon thecowboyup.com (269)496-7956


EAT


Cowboys and girls love steak. Fortunately, steak happens to be the specialty at Wild Bull


in Kalamazoo. Located in Kalamazoo’s enter- tainment district, the restaurant offers the whole shebang including five steak choices and four signature sauces including Bourbon Mushroom and Sweet Balsamic Glaze. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a ride on “El Fuego” the restaurants own mechanical bull.


Wild Bull Saloon and Steakpit 139 S. Edwards St., Kalamazoo wildbull.biz (269) 978-8451


WATCH


Round up your cow crew and listen in on some truly rug- ged tunes at Kalamazoo’s


State Theatre. This year, Michigan’s own cow- boy is coming home for the holidays. Born and raised in West Michigan, Frankie Ballard con- tributes a rockin’, bluesy sound to the country vibe. Ballard is guaranteed to bring not only his charming good looks, but also his artistic lyrics and talented guitar pickin’.


Frankie Ballard Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 South Burdick Dec. 17, 8 p.m. kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500


16 | REVUEWM.COM | DECEMBER 2011


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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