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Ridgway Old West Fest Plans Take Shape

Ridgway Old West Fest

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Plans are well underway for the first Ridgway Old West Fest to be held October 11-13, 2019 in Ridgway, Colorado.  The festival, which will become an annual event, is intended to highlight the town's film, ranching and railroad heritage and to celebrate all things Western.

"We have a lot of fun activities planned, and there should be something for everyone, young and old,” said Eve Becker-Doyle, Ridgway Western Heritage Society president. “The 2019 Old West Fest is free. It does not have a registration fee. While some of the events require a paid ticket, the majority do not. That makes a really cost-effective weekend for our attendees."

Festival activities include cowboy music and poetry, a Western arts and crafts exposition, four movies, train rides, a tour of a model train that occupies an entire basement, a John Wayne look-alike contest, children’s horse and pony rides, horsemanship demonstrations and a cowboy action shooting contest.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of True Grit, the movie that earned John Wayne his only Academy Award. Director Henry Hathaway had been to Ridgway in 1962 when How the West Was Won was filmed. He liked it so well he brought True Grit's cast and crew to Ridgway and Ouray County in the summer of 1968 to film much of the movie, which was released the next year.

One goal for the festival is to establish more of a presence in Ridgway of the famous movie and its star. The committee is seeking sculptures of John Wayne or Rooster Cogburn for a sculpture garden. Anyone interested in donating a sculpture should contact Erin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 970-275-6051.

The festival's signature event is a Saturday afternoon Western concert. Debby Campbell, Glen Campbell's oldest daughter who toured with him for 24 years, has agreed to perform. "We are very  happy to have someone as accomplished as Debby as headliner for our inaugural concert," said Becker-Doyle. Campbell has agreed to give interviews about her dad, his music and the festival. Contact MaryAnn Beaman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a conference.

In recognition of  the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, and October as breast cancer awareness month, the festival is hosting a breast cancer fundraiser. Called the If the Hat Fits, Wear It brunch, the function will provide hats to cancer patients who have lost their hair. It will also feature portraits of survivors wearing hats, a hat fashion show and several songs performed by Debby Campbell.

Celebrities expected to attend the festival are Debby Campbell, Rick Weaver, and Ethan Wayne. Angie Dickinson and other Wayne family members have been invited to attend.

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Ridgway Old West Fest Plans Take Shape

Ridgway Old West Fest Plans Take Shape

Plans are well underway for the first Ridgway Old West Fest to be held October 11-13, 2019 in Ridgway, Colorado.  The festival, which will become an annual event, is intended to highlight the town's film, ranching and railroad heritage and to celebrate all things Western.

Read more

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Visitors Center & Ridgway Area Chamber

The Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce promotes business and community development in the Town of Ridgway and the surrounding area. The chamber operates the Visitors Center, which is open from May 1 through October 1 and is located at 150 Racecourse Road, Ridgway, Colorado 81432 (across from Citizens Bank off of HWY 62).

P.O. Box 544
Ridgway, Colorado 81432

800.220.4959
970.626.5181
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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