Old West comes ­to life in Winthrop

— Prepare to see Old West history come to life this weekend at the 68th annual ‘49er Days celebration.

The Ride to Rendezvous wagon train will kick off the weekend’s festivities at noon Friday, arriving in town after its weeklong sojourn through Methow Valley country.

Residents and visitors will saddle up for the ‘49er Days parade at 11 a.m. Saturday on Main Street, then make their way to Winthrop Park to browse vendors, munch on brats and barbecue sandwiches, and check out the Washington Outfitters and Guides Association’s packer rendezvous party.

Special parade guests will include Grand Marshal Tom Graves and Lady Fay Graves; as well as junior royalty Zoey Marchiney, Chuck Long and Kira Cramer.

Drivers should be prepared to take a detour on state Highway 20 from 11 a.m. to noon during the parade.

The party in the park will feature elements of Old West life and culture, such as music, poetry and campfire cooking, as well as some child-friendly activities.

The association will host a dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday, with tickets sold at the entrance to the association’s camp.

More campfire music, poetry and stories will come after the meal, and everyone’s invited to continue the good times at a 9:30 p.m. dance at the Winthrop Barn.

On Sunday, breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m. at Winthrop Park, and the state packing competition afterward will decide who’s the fastest at loading up their gear and guiding their mules on a trail ride.

A live auction will be held at the same time, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where people can bid on a quilt, art, tack and trips for hunting, horseback riding and more.

The town will contribute its own history when a time capsule is sealed at 10 a.m. in Winthrop Park. The capsule will include items from Winthrop’s first 40 years of westernization and is scheduled to be opened in 2052.


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