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Wed, Aug. 21

Shootout on Whiskey Row on target for 10 years

Slip on the boots, grab your spurs, don the hat and the six-shooter because the annual Shootout on Whiskey Row is on target to commence Saturday and Sunday, July 25-26. Now in its 10th year, the shootout will include the usual gunfight and costume competitions with Old West vendors, but has also expanded to cover National Day of the Cowboy.

Neil Thomas of the Prescott Regulators said that this year's shootout is the first time that the shootout has been combined with National Day of the Cowboy as per request by the City Council and mayor three years ago. Thomas said that the size of the event has doubled.

"Normally, we have a gunfight competition, costume competition for two days and Old West vendors," Thomas said. "This year, we've expanded that to include an equestrian ride... and we also have a dance... so it's quite a bit of an expansion."

Thomas said that in the past 10 years, the shootout has expanded and grown to be the largest event of its type in Arizona, noting that there are multiple groups who compete. Thomas said that the reenactors are judged on historical accuracy, costuming and acting ability.

And over the years, Thomas said there have been quite a few reenactment groups, such as the Arizona Gunfighters, who have been coming to the shootout for nine years and will be at this year's, as well as Dr. Buck and the Wild Bunch. Thomas also said that the Prescott Regulators will perform this year due to it being the 10th anniversary.

Thomas said that the shootout provides entertainment that people don't get to see in Prescott very often, stating that it gives them the chance to see the Old West as it was or should have been.

"The gunfight and costume competition will allow you to see what the 1880s were really like with spot-on costuming," he said. "The performances by the groups are astounding, they practice these things for months and months before they come... it's not your normal downtown fare."

Reflecting on the past 10 years, Thomas also looked to the shootout's next decade and hopes that it continues to grow. He said that, as far as he is concerned, Prescott is the only town in Arizona that deserves the title of having the biggest National Day of the Cowboy Event.

"As it grows, we hope to bring in more and more things that are involved with National Day of the Cowboy," he said.

The 10th annual Shootout on Whiskey Row will be on Saturday and Sunday, July 25-26, downtown from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The dance, which will be set up at the corner of Cortez and Montezuma streets, will feature Five in the Wheel and will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.prescottregulators.org.

- by Jason Wheeler. Follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach Jason at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.

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