Western Events for May 2017 Western roundup of events where you can experience the Old West!

bishop mule days true west
Bishop Mule Days

ADVENTURE

Narrow Gauge Day
Durango, CO, May 5: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad celebrates continuous operation between Durango and Silverton since 1882.
888-872-4607 • DurangoTrain.com

Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival
Cortez, CO, May 10-14: Observe the local bird population with regional wildlife specialists volunteering as tour guides and guest lecturers.
970-565-1151 • CortezCulturalCenter.org

ART

The Western: An Epic in Art and Flm

The Western: An Epic in Art and Film
Denver, CO, May 21 – September 10: Explores the myths of the West in the context of approximately 160 paintings, photography, prose and film from the mid-1800s to present.
720-865-5000 • DenverArtMuseum.org

AUCTION

Witherell’s Western Americana Auction
Grass Valley, CA, May 2-16: Bid on collectibles that range from saloon advertising to gambling devices to gold rush, cowboy and Indian artifacts.
916-764-5257 • Witherells.com

FUNDRAISER

Friends of Happy Trails Banquet
Victorville, CA, May 20: This fundraiser benefits the children’s foundation formed by classic Western actors Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
760-240-3330 • HappyTrails.org

FRONTIER FARE

Flying J Ranch Opening Day
Alto, NM, May 26-31: An evening of chuckwagon cooking and Western music much like cowboys would have enjoyed after a long day on the trail.
575-336-4330 • FlyingJRanch.com

GUN SHOW

Colorado Gun Collectors Association Gun Show
Denver, CO, May 20-21: Firearm aficionados can browse the more than 1,500 tables of antique and modern firearms, as well as cowboy artifacts.
720-482-0167 • CGCA.com

HERITAGE FESTIVALS

Rains County Founders Day Festival
Emory, TX, May 4-6: Paying tribute to pioneer founder Emory Rains, this festival offers up historic building tours, gunslinger show and more.
903-473-2465 • EmoryTX.com

West Texas Heritage Days
Uvalde, TX, May 5-6: Military drills and demonstrations featuring Buffalo Soldiers and American Indians bring Fort McKavett to life.
800-588-2533 • VisitUvalde.com

Smokey Bear Days
Capitan, NM, May 5-6: The danger of forest fires is promoted at this celebration featuring a chainsaw carving auction, parade and arts and crafts.
575-257-7395 • NewMexico.org

The Cowboy Way Fest 2017
Gene Autry, OK, May 5-7: The spirit of singing cowboy Gene Autry illuminates this event of cowboy music, poetry, celebrities and food.
580-294-3335 • GeneAutryOKMuseum.org

True Grit Walking Tour
Ridgeway, CO, Opens May 5: Fans of the True Grit movies may enjoy this walking tour of the film locations every Friday through October.
970-626-5181• RidgwayColorado.com

Tucumcari Rawhide Days true west
Tucumcari Rawhide Days

Tucumcari Rawhide Days
Tucumcari, NM, May 5-6: Celebrate the Old West with a parade, live music, wagon rides, gunfights, chuckwagons and a blacksmith competition.
575-461-1400 • TucumcariRawhideDays.com

Elks Helldorado Days
Las Vegas, NV, May 11-14: Held since 1934, this festival celebrates Old West history with a pro rodeo, parade and Western art show and auction.
702-870-1221 • ElksHelldorado.com

Frontier Forts Days
Fort Worth, TX, May 12-13: Experience life at a frontier fort through infantry, artillery and cavalry demonstrations, and military parades.
817-625-9715 • FortWorthStockyards.org

General Sam Houston Folk Festival
Huntsville, TX, May 12-14: The Sam Houston Memorial Museum’s grounds are transformed
into a bustling frontier settlement.
936-294-1832 • GSHFF.com

Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo
Kearney, NE, May 13: Outdoorsmen can enjoy shooting, archery and fishing demonstrations and contests.
888-444-1867 • VisitKearney.org

Aspencash Motorcycle Rally
Mescalero, NM, May 18-21: A $10,000 poker run is the highlight of this AMA
Signature Series trade show.
575-937-4977 • NewMexico.org

Pioneer Family Festival
Oregon City, OR, May 19-21: The first incorporated city west of the Rockies celebrates pioneer history with a parade and live entertainment.
503-875-4756 • PioneerFamilyFestival.com

Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival
Albuquerque, NM, May 20-21: A kaleidoscope of Celtic song, dance, traditional clothing, food, stories, poetry, humor and history.
505-768-6050 • NewMexico.org

Bishop Mule Days
Bishop, CA, May 23-28: True West’s Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell will lead the parade down Main Street during this mule celebration showcasing mule trainers, riders and packers competing on about 700 mules in nearly 200 shows.
760-872-4263 • MuleDays.org

Johnny Crawford true west
Western actor Johnny Crawford will be at the John Wayne Birthday Celebration.

John Wayne Birthday Celebration
Winterset, IA, May 26-27: Join Western actor Johnny Crawford for a benefit dinner, and watch a Wells Fargo stagecoach in action.
877-462-1044 • JohnWayneBirthplace.museum

Wyatt Earp Days
Tombstone, AZ, May 27-29: Gunfights and hangings are re-enacted in the streets of Tombstone, plus a Wyatt Earp look-alike contest.
520-457-3511 • TombstoneChamber.com

MUSIC & POETRY

Kerrville Folk Festival
Kerrville, TX, Opens May 25: Singers and songwriters perform at one of the largest folk music festivals in North America.
830-257-3600 • Kerrville-Music.com

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival
Pigeon Forge, TN, May 26- June 4: Dollywood’s master chefs will serve new barbeque recipes while local Bluegrass musicians perform.
800-365-5996 • Dollywood.com

RE-ENACTMENTS

Palo Alto Battlefield Living History
Brownsville, TX, May 7: Celebrate Texas history with demonstrations of Mexican-American War-era weapons, tactics and soldier life.
956-541-2785 • NPS.gov

Battle of Rogue River Match
Grants Pass, OR, May 19-21: Hosted in a re-created Old West town, this Cowboy Action match draws shootists from all over the United States.
541-582-4144• MerlinMarauderCowboys.com

RODEOS

Western Heritage Classic
Abilene, TX, May 11-14: This working ranch rodeo also offers cowboy music and poetry, a fiddler’s contest, a parade and a trade show.
325-677-4376 •  WesternHeritageClassic.com

Pendleton Cattle Barons Weekend
Pendleton, OR, May 12-13: Honors the region’s cattlemen and ranchers with bronc riding, a cowboy collectibles auction and barbecue.
541-377-6834 • CattleBarons.net

Bandera Pro Rodeo
Bandera, TX, May 26-28: This rodeo features PRCA-sanctioned bareback riding, steer wrestling, calf roping and bull riding.
830-522-0054 • BanderaProRodeo.org

What do you think?

Rhiannon Deremo

Editor of Social Media at True West Magazine.