Buckskinners are back

Frontier Days kicks off Friday

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Liam Fitzsimmons, left, and Boudica Fitzsimmons discover there might be treasure in the basket as they roam the Buckskinner Camp at a previous Frontier Day’s celebration.

The annual Frontier Days celebration is just up the trail a bit with a host of events scheduled for the upcoming weekend both in downtown Fort Dodge and at the Fort Museum & Frontier Village.

This year’s Frontier Days kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. and continues until 11 p.m. Saturday events are from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday has activity from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The annual Frontier Days Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday following the traditional route down Central Avenue in downtown Fort Dodge.

Fort Museum Acting Director Laura Crowl is excited about the weekend, particularly the appearance of Kevin “War Pony” Browning, of Emporia, Kansas.

“He will be here all weekend,” she said. “He’ll have wolves, ponies and a teepee.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Jim “Wild Jim” McBee, of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, of the Hole In The Sock Gang fires a pistol.

Browning, a Comanche American Indian, will be teaching visitors about his native culture.

There will also be some really big horses on hand.

Bob and Vicki Roby, of Rockwell City, will be bringing several Belgian draft horses.

“They’ll have one that they will be riding around on one and one will be available to take photos of,” she said.

There will also be a premier at this year’s celebration.

The Boone Community Theatre will perform a musical honoring the well-known story of local heroine Kate Shelley.

“It’s a melodrama,” Crowl said. “They were writing it when I first talked to them. They’re pretty excited about it.”

History will also be on live display, Fort employee Misty Mackay said.

“We’ll have demonstrations in just about every building, including a blacksmith and leather worker,” Mackay said.

To keep with the old time theme, old fashioned children’s games are on the agenda too. The Spelling Bee starts at noon on Saturday.

Other acts to entertain the crowd include the Hole in the Sock Gang, Ghost Garrison, Hillbilly Bob, a strolling magician and the Sandhill Kid. There is also bingo on Friday and Saturday evening and an 86-foot obstacle course.

There won’t be any excuse to leave hungry or thirsty — plenty of food and drink vendors will be on hand.

“Little John Root Beer is back again this year,” Crowl said. “We also have funnel cakes back, Pliner’s Kettle Corn, TC Maes and Howard Ball.”

A new food vendor called Fort Laramie will be offering tenderloins.

The weekend also has plenty of musical acts.

Friday night features Country artist Jason Brown in the Opera House. Toadstool and Don’t Die! will be playing in the tent.

Saturday is the Avery/Grouws Band from 2 to 4 p.m. and The Senders from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Opera House. Beaver Creek plays under the tent.

Sunday at 1 p.m. the Bill Riley Talent Show will be in the Opera House.

Saturday night at 7 p.m. the drawing for the quilt will be held in the Opera House. Other raffle items include shoes, gift cards, a willow basket by Delaney Segar, and the artwork produced on site by the visiting chainsaw artist.

Proceeds from the raffle benefit the Fort Museum and help fund next year’s Frontier Days Celebration.

Frontier Days Committee Chair Terry Cook said that support for the event has been very generous this year.

“Frontier Days couldn’t be put on without all the sponsors,” he said.

Wrist bands for entry for the entire weekend are $5. Admission to the Jason Brown show requires an additional wrist band priced at $10.


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