Museum hosts Michael Martin Murphey's Cowboy Christmas Ball

Although it's a joyous season, Christmas can also be a stressful time of the year. Take time to relax with the family and enjoy the simplicity of the holiday at Michael Martin Murphey's Cowboy Christmas Ball. The 15th annual Western celebration begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 N.E. 63rd.

Murphey, a country singer known for the classic song "Wildfire," created the event as an extension of the original Cowboy Christmas Ball, which was founded in 1885 at the Star Hotel in Anson, Texas.

"He wanted to organize a festive Christmas event that was exciting and wholesome for the whole family, and has brought that concept to the metro," said Shayla Simpson, director of museum events. "He's the one who's kept it alive for many, many years."

Murphey and his band perform at the ball, and the singer, who's been known to jump off the stage to join in, will lead several line dances on the ballroom floor. Along with live music and dancing, dinner will be served.

The ball is designed so families can spend time together, and offers relief from the stresses of the season. Simpson said a hearty mix has attended the event in past years, and many guests show up decked in "period Western attire," while others stick to jeans and boots or Christmas clothing.

"It's a chance for those who really like Western music to come out and have a Christmas-themed event and get ready for the season," Simpson said.

Tickets are $75 per person, and $25 for children under 12.

"Paige Lawler

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