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Winston Spring Fiesta To Feature Burro Races, Cow Chip Poker

LAS CRUCES--Pack burro races will highlight this year's Winston Spring Fiesta April 17 in Winston.

The Western Park Bureau Association will be holding burro races during the festival, said Mike Cook, director of New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project.

"The competition is open to anyone who wants to walk or run alongside a burro over a 15-mile course that passes through the lower elevations of the Black Range Mountains, with climbs and descents of about 1,500 feet," Cook said.

"This is really a fun event for the entire family," Cook said. "Visitors get a chance to spend a few hours in an old silver-mining town that boomed in the late 1880s and early 1890s. A lot of the buildings are still standing."

Cow chip poker also will be a part of the festivities. The event features a 50-square-foot fenced arena divided into 5-foot squares. Each square is sold to a player.

"When all the squares have been sold, a well-fed cow is released into the arena to do what nature intended," he said. "When the chips fall, the winner of the lucky square receives a prize."

Other activities will include a parade, horseshoe pitch, flea market, barbecue lunch, bake sale and activities for children.

REDTT, a project of NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, promotes agriculture through tourism.

Proceeds of the fiesta benefit the Winston, Chloride, Chiz and Dusty Community Association.