"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 first Ridgway Old West Fest in 2019 commemorated the 50th anniversary of the famous John Wayne movie True Grit, which was primarily filmed in Ridgway and nearby Ouray. The event drew fans from all across America and even received publicity in Europe.
“Despite the current corona virus, we are hopeful that by late September things will have been resolved so that we can safely get together for some long overdue fun,” said Becker-Doyle. Festival activities currently being considered include a karaoke contest, open mic cowboy poetry and music, Western movies, a Duke/Western heroes and villains look-alike contest, an unusual animal exhibit, a Western music concert, horse-drawn wagon rides, a beer tasting event and lectures on a variety of Western history and movie topics.
The Ridgway Western Heritage Society's two partners in producing the festival bring other programs to the table. The Ouray County Ranch History Museum will be hosting Colorado leather craftsmen and a local blacksmith, as well as demonstrations, handcrafted items for sale, leather workshops, mule packing, and a chuck wagon-style luncheon. The Ridgway Railroad Museum will be giving rides on RGS Motor 1 and Galloping Geese 4, a unique form of rail transportation in Southwest Colorado, and presenting a tour of a model train that occupies an entire basement.
One goal for the festival is to establish more of a presence in Ridgway of the movie True Grit 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 970-275-6051.
Advance tickets will be available at a discount on-line via the official Ridgway Old West Fest website, www.ridgwayoldwestfest.org. Look for a complete schedule of events there soon.
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 currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19, 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