The event runs June 18-19, and the first day’s fun will be at the museum just east of Montrose near U.S. 90 East and Miami Road. Just like last year, it will feature live gunshots re-enactments, carriage rides, special performances, and more. Impersonators of people like John Wayne and Abe Lincoln will be on hand again, along with several cast members of the television series The Virginian.
Another star, Grammy winner Lynn Anderson, will perform at the Pavilion for the second day of the event. Anderson, a pop/country singer, made her mark with the hit, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.”
Also new this year will be authors and authorities on the Old West. All museum exhibits will be open on Saturday (but not on Sunday when the event moves to the Pavilion).
Months of planning have gone into the event, the brainchild of curator Bob DeQuinze, who said he was looking for a way to raise funds for the museum.
All that’s needed now are more vendors, said museum founder Rich Fike.
“It’s going to be three times bigger and that many more people,” he said. At $25, the cost is minimal for food and merchandise vendors. The price goes up to $35 if electricity is provided, and all vendors are required to make a contribution to the silent auction. To learn more, contact DeQuinze at 249-4162, 240-3400 or email email@example.com.
There are no restrictions on the types of vendors, Fike said, and vendors range from suppliers of local crafts and ethnic foods to Big O Tires and Schwann’s Frozen Foods.
“We’re looking for anybody that wants to serve crafts or food, but if they sell food, they have to get a local permit,” Fike said.
Fike said the cast of The Virginian includes star James Drury, along with fellow cast members Roberta Shore and Randy Boone. The date of the event, which was held in early June, was moved to accommodate their schedules, he said.
“We will also have Truman Peters, one of the best arrowhead makers around, who grew up in Escalante Canyon, and Frank Anderson, our resident blacksmith,” he said.
Western writers will also be in evident at the event, including nonfiction writer Chris Enss, author of several books, including the biography of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and Hearts of the West: The True Story of Mail Order Brides on the Frontier.
Jim Kornberg, author of Frontier Doctor and nonfiction writer for True West Magazine, will be on-hand, Fike said, “dispelling false information, including false symptoms and remedies in old westerns.”
Also featured will be stuntman Ted White, who was John Wayne’s double in movies such as Rio Bravo and The Alamo.
All the featured performers and writers will be on the museum between panel discussions at the historic church building, according to a museum news release. Books and other celebrity items will be sold in the church between performances. Performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. include “movie and TV stars discussing what it was like back then.” For advance tickets to performances in the church call 240-3400. Seating is limited to 135. Tickets to the performances are $3.
Admission to the event at the museum on Saturday is $10 for adults, $5 for school age and free for kids under five. To learn more log onto
In addition to more guest artists, a lot of fine-tuning is going into local performances, DeQuinze said. Choreographer Vonda Harris is helping to work out the sequence details of live gun battles taking place during the event, and working as well with a group of about a dozen local women who dress up in period costumes, portraying everything from school marms to saloon girls. The women will take part in gun shootouts as well as skits as various historic buildings on the museum’s grounds. Last year’s live shows weren’t choreographed, he added, and he encouraged people to come out for Western Movies Days and travel back in time.
“Primarily it’s the 3D effect we’re giving people for history, through the gunfights, the ladies and meeting the actors,” he said.