Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2008
Wild West Show back in action this weekend
Olathe’s Wild West Show and Bullwhacker Days is back this weekend.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, residents can attend the event at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site and the Mahaffie Heritage Center, 1200 Kansas City Road.
It aims to reflect the history of Olathe’s early days as a stop on the converging Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails during a period of great cultural exchange, said Alexis Radil, an interpretative specialist with Mahaffie.
“It’s important to preserve the stories about the 19th Century West,” she said.
And this year’s event has some new additions.
Charro Jerry Diaz, a fourth generation horseman, will perform with his wife and son each day at 2:15 p.m.
Radil said Diaz, who’s performed at events across the country including Kansas City’s American Royal, will demonstrate some of the skills, dress and customs later adopted by the American cowboy.
Also new this year are performances by Mariachi Habanero, which will partner with Diaz on Saturday, Emporia bluegrass group Tallgrass Express, who conduct dance lessons at 1:30 p.m. Sunday before their performances and Marla Matkin, who will present her interactive program “Cherishing Our Historical Legacy.”
Olathe author Kenneth Kieser, both days, will sign copies of his novel, “Ride the Trail of Death,” which is about a family torn apart in the old West.
Past performers returning for this year’s event include Annie Oakley and Chris “The Whip Guy” Camp and fire eater, the Amazing Zeno. Gunsmoke and Petticoats will perform gunfights and other skits and the Santa Fe Desperadooes may just rob a stagecoach with riders on board. On Sunday, Rose Marie’s Fiesta Mexicana Youth Dancers will perform at 1p.m. Sunday
Mutton busting will be available at 11 a.m. both days in the arena for children weighing 50 pounds or less. Radil recommended kids wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and sturdy shoes in case they fall off the sheep.
Other kids activities include a rubber band shooting gallery, panning for real gold, getting pictures taken in an old-time photo booth and meeting buffalo hunters, cowboys, buffalo soldiers, mountain men and other western characters.
An air gun gallery will be available for the adults. Radil said there is an extra fee for some of the activities including food, but this year’s event includes free stagecoach rides each day.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children aged five to 11. Children four and under are free. Public parking is available a quarter-mile west of Mahaffie at Olathe North High School. A free shuttle will take people to Mahaffie. Seniors and handicapped parking will be available at the Heritage Center.
For more information, call Mahaffie at 971-5111.