One day’s not enough to corral everything planned for this year’s Wild West Festival in McAlester’s Old Town — so the festival is becoming a two-day event.
It kicks off Friday, Oct. 2, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 3.
“We’ve got a lot going on this year,” said Old Town Association President Brenda Baxter. This year’s festival includes music, gunfight re-enactors, a trick-roper, an old-time medicine show and a bevy of vendors.
“We already have 25 vendors lined up,” Baxter said, with the vendors offering a variety of goods.
“There will be lots of good food,” she said. Arts and crafts vendors have already signed up as well, Baxter said, including wood carvers.
Festivities are set to begin at 3 p.m. Friday with music on the outdoor stage by Layce Baker Jr., who performs music ranging from the blues to classic country and soul. The outdoor stage will be set up in McAlester’s Old Town at the intersection of North Main Street and Stonewell Avenue. An old-fashioned get-together is also planned for the evening.
“At 6 p.m. we’re going to have an ice cream and cake social,” Baxter said, with free ice cream and cake offered to all who are present.
Also on Friday evening, trick roper and humorist Marty Tipton, known as The Oklahoma Kid, will perform, Baxter said.
A free street dance will follow at 8 p.m. Friday night, with country music from the Purple Hayes band, she said.
Festivities continue on Saturday, Oct. 3, beginning at 9 a.m. with music onstage from the youthful performing troupe, The Oklahoma Kids.
At 10 a.m. the fourth annual 5K Wild Color Stampede is set to begin. Plans call for the route to begin and end on East Krebs Avenue, on the south side of the Whistle Stop Bistro, according to Lacey Sudderth, of McAlester Main Street.
A big part of the fun for the Color Stampede participants is being doused with colored powder at stations along the route.
Registration is $40 per runner, with registration forms available at the McAlester Main Street office at 119 E. Choctaw Ave., Suite 104. Registration is also available online at www.runsignup.com/race/ok/mcalester/wildcolorstampede.
A poker run is also set to begin at 10 a.m. Baxter said the route goes from Hartshorne, to Wilburton, Quinton and Eufaula, then back to Old Town, with entrants paying $15 a hand and picking up cards at stations set in towns along the route. Baxter said proceeds will be split among the winner and the Old Town Association.
Also at 10 a.m. Saturday, Will Huckabee and the Overdrive Band will perform on the outdoor stage, followed by the Dr. Hedgethicket Medicine Show at 11 a.m.
Scott Dickey, who plays acoustic guitar and sings, is set to perform around 11 a.m Saturday.
“At noon, we will crown our Wild West Festival king and queen, Garner and Betty Boyd,” Baxter said. More performances from The Oklahoma Kids are also expected, she said.
“We will be having gunfights throughout the day,” featuring a group called the Indian Nation Pistoliers, Baxter said. “They wear period clothing and they’re very purist. Because they’re called the Indian Territory Pistoliers, they really wanted to do the McAlester festival,” she said.
Keeping the music coming, the Purple Hayes Band is set to return to the outdoor stage from 1-4 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday afternoon performances include more from Dr. Hedgethicket’s medicine show and the Oklahoma Kid’s trick roping.
The Indian Territory Pistoliers are expected to re-enact a final gunfight before the festival starts shutting down around 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, Baxter said.
Baxter noted the Old Town Association is once again organizing this year’s festival.
“We’re all volunteers,” Baxter said. “We put this on with a lot of help from the city.”