With cowboy hats, a variety of songs, a dedicated cast, jokes and fun for the entire family, Silver Follies is ready to entertain audiences for the 31st year.

What begun as a community service project at Crowder College has grown into a community theater tradition. It's called the Silver Follies because it's an event put together by those age 55 and older. The seniors do everything from participate in creating an original show each year to building sets and serving as both cast and crew. The show this year is "Rootin' And Tootin'".

"We're going to a dude ranch this year," Linda Rasmussen, director said. "We're not old time cowboys, we're greenhorns."

Rasmussen has been a part of Silver Follies since 2000 and this year marks her fifth as director. According to her, the show promises to live up to audience expectation.

"Every year, they say it's the best we've ever had," she said. "I just hope everyone comes out and enjoys themselves."

An original show takes place each year. In the past, performances have revolved around a cruise ship, a casino and many other locations. "I wrote it," Rasmussen said of this year's show. ""We meet and throw some ideas out but I write it."

"We have a great time," she said. "We have fun. You can't even believe how much fun we have out here. We laugh, we always say that we're having a good time. We have the satisfaction of the show."

New faces are always welcome along with returning thespians who have trod the boards before.

"Most of the actors are veterans and have been in the show before. We have four new people this year that we're really happy to have. We're always looking for new people. If we want to continue with the Follies - and we do - we're going to have to have new people."

One of the Silver Follies members, Bernadine Sprenkle, has been on board since the first year.

The crew has spent the past three weeks building and painting sets. This week, they've been in rehearsal for next weekend's trio of performances.

Cast and crew members this year include Ruth E. Arnall, Julie Doubek, Richard Edwards, Peggy Garibay, Dick Keezer (Rancher Dan), Pat Lett, Karen Myers, Glennis Naylor, John Naylor, Linda Naylor, Chester Neel, Debby Oliver, Ruth Pendergraft, Sherry Perkins (Waterin' Hole Host", Linda Rasmussen, Janice Reed, Wilma Robbins, Bernadine Sprenkle, Diane Strouss, Bea Watson (Rancher Dan's assistant) and Roger Wilson.

There will also be a special appearance by the Hoot and Holler Cloggers, which include Judy Bailey, Marilyn Beveridge, Kris Blackwelder, Paula Fettig, Kathy Fidler, Marilyn O'Brien, Jody Rogers, Connie Salzer, Janet Spears, Merry Vincent, and Peggy Wooden.

Performances of "Rootin' and Tootin'" will be held August 9-11.

On Friday and Saturday, performances will be a 7 p.m. On Sunday, there will be a matinee at 2 p.m.

All performances will be at the Elsie Plaster Center on the Crowder College Campus in Neosho.

Admission is $5 with children ages 12 and under free.

Don't miss this year's Silver Follies - come out and enjoy the show!!