Wild West comes alive this weekend

By Linda Kor

Holbrook returns to its roots with a Wild West Day celebration on Saturday, July 15, at the historic courthouse, located at 100 E. Arizona St.

The day opens with the annual Bucket of Blood Races, which will begin at 6 a.m. and travel a new route along Old Woodruff Road. Signups and information for the 5K and 10K runs, and 20-mile bike ride are available online at Active.com.

The Hashknife Posse will start your day off right with a hot breakfast served from 7 to 10 a.m. at the historic courthouse. Visitors can enjoy breakfast while watching the Desierto de Colores Mexican dancers perform and finish up just in time to enjoy the parade beginning at 10 a.m.

The Wild West parade will feature horses of all sizes, from Shetland ponies to Clydesdales, along with wagons and buggies. Other entries are also being sought for the horse parade, which can include anything of a Wild West theme, with or without a horse.

The route will travel from east to west on Buffalo Street all the way to Eighth Avenue, then turn south onto Hopi Drive, where it will head east to Navajo Blvd., then north to the historic courthouse on East Arizona Street.

After the parade Zuni Crown dancers will entertain crowds at the courthouse, and at 11:30 a.m. local youngsters from the Lil’ Buckaroo Music Camp will gather for a musical performance.

Artie Gillespie will provide musical entertainment from noon to 1 p.m., followed by fiddler Rob Edwards, performances by the Navajo County Junior Miss royalty and a reading of Holbrook’s history by Richard Peterson at 1:45 p.m. Students at Winslow’s High Desert Dance Academy will perform at 2 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m. it will be time to get your dance shoes on as the Route 66 Dolls will be teaching line dancing, followed by Hopi toy maker Gregory Hill and other artisans demonstrating their skills and their work beginning at 3 p.m.  Rob Edwards will take the stage with his fiddle at 3:30 p.m. and again at 5 p.m.

An ice-cold treat will be just the thing after a long, hot day in the sun, so at 4 p.m. it’ll be time to make some homemade ice cream before getting ready to watch the Talent Showdown at 5:30 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. Those who perform will receive a free ticket to the Roxy Theater. Contact Kathleen Smith at 524-6225 to sign up. At 6 p.m. the world-renowned Native American dancers will take the stage.

During the day lawbreakers (participants) can sign up to be locked up in the county’s oldest jail at the historic courthouse. They will be left with a number of clues that could mean a break for freedom before they run out of time and face the hangman’s noose. This event will take place each hour between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

There will also be kids games throughout the day, including a horseless rodeo and dummy roping. A petting zoo will also be available.

Inside the historic courthouse the Harvey Girls will be on hand to provide information on the region’s rich history. In addition, the Holbrook Art Series will feature the artwork of David Larson and Kim Wilson in the courtroom. Larson is a realist painter who uses oil and acrylics as his chosen medium, and Wilson is a watercolorist. Both have been honing their talents for more than 20 years.

The entertainment will go beyond the historic courthouse with open 4D barrel racing at the Navajo County Fairgrounds beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 14. and Wild West Day Team Roping at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The cantina will be open for those looking forward to Jose’s legendary green chili.

Saturday will also include a beer garden, great food and a photo booth, as well as other vendors.

Bring the family, bring friends and enjoy Holbrook’s Wild West Day. For more information or to register for events, contact Kathleen Smith of the City of Holbrook at 524-6225.