By Julie Wiessner
Holbrook will host the 31st annual Wild West Days celebration on Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13, with activities planned at the Navajo County historic courthouse, Hunt Park and the county fairgrounds. The weekend features the annual Ace In The Hole Barbecue competition with up to 30 professional barbecue teams from throughout the country. The aroma of delicious barbecue will begin filling the air on Friday night and will be available for hungry visitors to purchase beginning at 12 noon on Saturday. This year these teams will be competing for $10,000 in prize money, with the winner automatically qualifying as an entry in the second annual World Food Championships in Las Vegas, Nev.
Friday’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. on the historic courthouse lawn with performances by the 2012 Navajo County Junior Miss and Cinderella pageant contestants. There will be plenty of fun for kids as they enjoy bounce houses, ride the orb and take a ride on the cow train, as well as play kids’ games.
At 10 a.m., Strut Your Stuff and Cheer performers will provide the entertainment, followed by the Bucket of Blood Re-Enactors at noon and again at 3:30 p.m. Historian David Grasse will give historical presentations in the Route 66 auditorium inside the historic courthouse at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Brush Party with Anthony Sobrino, a new event, begins at 12 noon and 3:30 p.m., and will take place in the Strut Your Stuff Studio, across from the historic courthouse. Sobrino is a Phoenix area artist who teaches the basics of acrylic painting to beginning artists. Participants can take their mounted canvas painting home at the end of the two-hour session, which carries a $25 fee.
At 1 p.m., the Leland Crowther Band begins the musical entertainment, followed by Tommy and the Heartbeats at 2 p.m. At 6 p.m., Las Joyas Del Desierto Ballet Folklorico will perform, followed by musician Ryan David Orr at 7 p.m., who will be opening for Tri-Leplay. Saturday’s events begin with the 31st annual Bucket of Blood Races. Late registration is slated at 5 a.m., with the half marathon set to begin at 6 a.m. The 10K run and 20-mile bike race both begin at 6:30 a.m., and the 2K fun run starts at 7 a.m. Awards will be presented to the winners at 10 a.m. The starting place for all races is the historic courthouse. Trophies and medals will be awarded for winners in each category with the exception of the fun run. All participants in the Bucket Of Blood races will have their names placed into a drawing for prizes, cash and a New Belgium Bike, donated by Fred Nackard. To register in advance, visit Active.com. For more information, contact the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce at (928) 524-6227.
Also on Saturday, check out Hunt Park for the Route 66 Gearheads Gunslinger Car Show, which will feature everything from muscle cars to vintage cars.
Brush Parties with Anthony are again slated, this time at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Strut Your Stuff Studio.
Kids’ games are planned throughout the day.
The Native American dancers begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by performances by the Bucket of Blood Re-enactors, with David Grasse’s final historical presentation beginning at 12:30 p.m. inside the historic courthouse.
The Holbrook’s Got Talent hour begins at 2 p.m. All ages are invited to participate, and all participants will have their names entered into a drawing for prizes sponsored by the Holbrook Painted Desert Kiwanis Club. Sign-ups will be accepted up to one hour before the event. Contact the chamber with questions.
At 4 p.m., awards will be presented to the winners of the barbecue competition, and at 4:30 the Mark Cross Band will perform at the gazebo.
Throughout the weekend vendors will be on the courthouse lawn selling food, jewelry, art and more. This year a beer garden will be open.
The fairgrounds will also have events throughout the weekend. At 5 p.m. on Friday, Shasta Rodeo Company will hold barrel racing. At 8 a.m. on Saturday, the Kids’ 4-H Rodeo takes place and at 1 p.m., the Southern Junior Bull Riders Association junior bull riding event begins.
By Julie Wiessner