Jun 152012

By Linda Kor —

Holbrook’s 30th annual Wild West Days celebration is just weeks away and promises more excitement than ever. This event exemplifies everything from the unruly, wild days of the Old West to the American cool of Route 66, and will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 6 and 7.

Featured in this event is the Ace In The Hole Barbecue competition that will spotlight up to 40 professional barbecue teams from throughout the country, twice the number of entries in last year’s event. The teams will be competing for $10,000 in prize money and will provide excellent barbecue for the public to enjoy.

Annual favorites at the celebration include the Bucket of Blood Races, the Gunslinger Car Show and performances by the Bucket of Blood Re-Enactors, Native American dancers and Mexican dancers.

The Dusty Desert Quilt Guild will have handcrafted quilts on display throughout the two-day event, and vendors will be on the courthouse lawn selling food, jewelry, art and more.

Friday starts with fun for the kids with bounce houses, a dunk tank and a cow train. There will also be a talent show for kids 12 and under taking place in the afternoon.

That evening a parade will travel from the west end of Hopi Drive, north on Navajo Blvd. to Hunt Park. It will include automobiles old and new, as well as entries from the various entertainment to be found at the event. Entries to the parade from the public are welcome and should reflect the eclectic taste of our Route 66 and Wild West heritage. Only wheels and hooves will be allowed, no walking entries.

Those who follow the parade to the historic courthouse will arrive in time to enjoy some delicious award-winning barbecue and enjoy music by Triple Play. While enjoying live music and vendors, visitors can also take a “haunted” tour of the Historic Navajo County Courthouse both Friday and Saturday evenings for a small fee. In addition, courtroom melodramas will play out in the old courthouse with period dress actors from the Old West.

The fun won’t just be limited to the courthouse grounds. At Hunt Park, the Gunslinger Car Show will have everything from muscle cars to vintage cars on display.

The Hashknife Stampede will be taking place at the Navajo County Fairgrounds. The fun starts Friday evening with open barrel racing, then on Saturday, a 4-H Horse Invitational will begin at 9 a.m. Participants must be enrolled in 4-H to enter. Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Southern Junior Bull Riders Association will hold a North versus South double-header bull riding competition. The second performance will start around 4:30 p.m. To enter that competition, go online to sjbraarizona.com.

On Saturday the fun continues with the Bucket of Blood Races, and more food, fun and entertainment, including MC6 A Cappella performing Saturday evening. The races will include a half-marathon, a 10K and a two-mile fun run, as well as a 20-mile bicycle race.

A talent show for kids 12 to 18 will be held on Saturday afternoon, and will award prizes for first, second and third place winners. Contestants may only perform as an individual or duet, no group performances will be permitted. Sign-ups will be accepted up to one hour before each event.

There are still vendor spots available for this event. The cost is $50 for both days and includes electricity, if needed.

For more information on Wild West Days events, contact the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce at (928) 524-6558.