WEST JEFFERSON — Following a year hiatus due to COVID-19 protocols, the sights and sounds of the Old West will once again return to the High Country during Saloon Studio’s Frontier Days.
The event will take place on May 22, at Saloon Studios located at 313 Old West Road in West Jefferson and will feature a day of gunfight reenactments, historic trades such as black smithing and tintype photography, cavalry demonstrations, a historic gun show and educational talks explaining the life of a cowboy.
“Most of the westerns you see are kind of made up history, but the group of cowboys I’ve got coming here are guys that have really studied it. They’ve read the books by the real cowboys and we have our clothes made by tailors who use real material that they would have had,” said Clint Johnson, a cowboy reenactor and Frontier Day participant. “It was a very brief time in American history, but it was a time that really captured everyone’s imaginations.”
According to Johnson, the gunfights at Saloon Studios will be based on what really caused gunfights in The Old West. There will be robberies of the Wells Fargo office, ruffians raiding a ladies’ dress shop, gangs trying to convince the Town Marshal to release someone in jail, and drunks accusing each other of cheating at cards. All programs will be conducted outside.
“We are going to recreate the first real standup gunfight between Wild Bill Hickock and a guy named Davis Tutt in 1865 in Springfield Missouri,” said Johnson. “That one standup gunfight, two guys standing in the street, is what we now see in all the western movies.”
Gates will open at 10 a.m. and the day ends at about 6 p.m. with a performance of authentic cowboy songs.
Tickets are $20 for adults, with those younger than 12 admitted free. Tickets can be ordered in advance at, saloonstudioslive.com/frontier-day/. Food from Boondocks’ Chuckwagon will also be available for purchase.
Spectators are encouraged to come dressed in Western attire, but not to bring their own guns. Only approved, known cowboy reenactors will allowed to participate in the shootouts. The event will happen rain or shine and falls within the COVID-19 guidelines for outdoor crowds.
For more information about this event call Saloon Studios at (336) 877-2374.