Shootout on Whiskey Row continues today with gunfights, Old West fashion
As Omari Easton,7, of Riverside, Calif., panned for gold at the Shootout on Whiskey Row Saturday, Stan Narwold of the Prescott Regulators showed him how to drain the water from the pan, and Omari found a shiny golden fleck.
Omari joined his grandmother Melissa Easton and hundreds of others at the seventh annual shootout organized by the Prescott Regulators and their Shady Ladies.
"We've done this as a family for years," said Easton, who was dressed in period finery as a member of Guns and Garters, a re-enactment group from California. "It's a great way to get kids interested in history and it's not TV or videogames."
The Prescott Regulators and their Shady Ladies had their period attire on and firearms ready during the event Saturday and will again today at the Old West extravaganza that begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. at the intersection of Montezuma and Goodwin streets.
"I love the kids. They get all excited and their eyes get large when they see us," said Jim Fricke, who portrayed Bat Masterson during one of the re-enactments on Saturday. "I tell them the guns we use are real, and that you have to be very careful around guns for your own safety."
Fricke, who has been talking part in re-enactments for the past three years, said it helps people put away their cares for a while and just have fun.
"Just meeting the people and being all dressed up is what makes this fun," said Carol Berns, a member of the Shady Ladies for the past six years.
Children roped metal steers, panned for gold, and petted horses from Horses with H.E.A.R.T., a nonprofit organization that helps disabled people learn horse-riding skills.
Many people wandered through vendors stalls featuring hand-crafted items, period garb, and other items, listened to music, learned more about the Buffalo Soldiers and Roughriders at their booths, and watched re-enactment competitions and an 1880s costume contest.
Fred Marable and Michelle London Marable, founders of the Buffalo Soldiers of the Arizona Territory, were dressed authentic uniforms, brought along a hand-made stagecoach they built, and along with several other members talked to people about how the Buffalo Soldiers helped shape the state we have today by mapping the hundreds of miles of trails that became today's highways and keeping people and precious metal mines and shipments safe.
Thomas Gammill, whose family has been in Arizona since 1905, told people about how the Arizona Rough Riders were the first volunteer regiment in the Spanish-American War.
The event benefits Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, helping the group match children and adults.
For additional information, visit prescottregulators.org.