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Fri, Aug. 23

History meets legend at 12th annual Whiskey Row Shootout

Sheriff Amos Johnson, played by Al Freehauf, participates in a gun battle during the 8th Annual Shootout on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott.
File photo

Sheriff Amos Johnson, played by Al Freehauf, participates in a gun battle during the 8th Annual Shootout on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott.

Enjoy free Wild West entertainment at the 12th Annual Shootout on Whiskey Row Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23.

The Prescott Regulators and Shady Ladies will appear on the athletic fields of Mile High Middle School this year. Entrance to the event is at the Goodwin Street-Whiskey Row (Montezuma Street) intersection. Street and city garage parking is available for the public; school parking lot is reserved for re-enactors and vendors.

Top-notch entertainment includes the Arizona Gunfighters, Dr. Buck and his Wild Bunch, and more re-enactment groups from across the state and California.

Neil Thomas, president of the Prescott Regulators and Shady Ladies – also known as the Official Old West Ambassadors of Prescott – said this event is great fun for the entire family.

“They can expect to be transported back to the 1880s to see the outlaws, gunslingers and the townspeople of Prescott when it was founded,” he said.

Taking place every fourth weekend in July, this event also celebrates the National Day of The Cowboy.

All the re-enactors dress in period-correct costumes ranging from the 1860s through the 1890s, something historians and photographers can appreciate. They represent not only the gunslingers and sheriffs, but soldiers, miners, saloon hostesses, cowboys and Victorian ladies and gentlemen.

True West Magazine selected the Prescott Regulators as the “Best in the West” re-enactment group in the country for four of the past six years. The Shootout on Whiskey Row also was honored as the “Best Wild West Show” for 2017.

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with the National Anthem and Mayor’s Address. Every half-hour from 10 to 11:30 a.m. different groups will perform, with more groups following the scholarship award at 11:50 a.m. and Costume Contest at noon.

At about 2:30-2:45 p.m., as a tribute to the National Day of the Cowboy, trail riders will appear in the downtown area riding straight down Whiskey Row to the middle school field.

More performances follow until the costume awards are given out at 5 p.m. Spectators can enjoy a beer garden Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Goodwin Street in front of the school. The Prescott Regulators appear at 4 p.m.

Sunday’s events again begin at 9:30 a.m. with a full day’s worth of performances. The Prescott Regulators are on at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

The Shootout event helps the Regulators and their Shady Ladies raise money to support its Veterans, Military and Families Scholarship. This past year, the group gave a $2,000 scholarship to a local veteran.

The re-enactors enjoy bringing history and legend to spectators in an entertaining format.

“We cannot recreate the horses, the smells or the total reality of the West, but we can teach the history through correct costumes, historically based re-enactments, sets and weapons of the old West,” Thomas, aka “James M. Dodson,” said in his press release.

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