Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Saige Bruster spins the wheels for her chance at a prize at the last years Tooele Gem and Mineral Show. The show will return to the Dow James Building in conjunction with the Festival of the Old West this weekend.

September 25, 2014
Annual Festival of the Old West kicks off Friday

Mountain men and gem enthusiasts are coming together this weekend for a free festival celebrating the American West.

The 21st annual Festival of the Old West will set up camp in Tooele City Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to dusk, at the Dow James Building at 500 W. and 400 North.

The festival will include a rock and gem show, mountain man rendezvous, American heritage festival, military encampment and fur history. There will also be Native American dancers and demonstrations of old home arts, like doing laundry by hand and churning butter.

Blair Hope, an organizer of the event, said the Festival of the Old West gives locals an up-close view at life in the region more than a century ago.

“You can take away a piece of history. You can take part in some live demonstrations and crafts — we’re going to have some opportunities for kids to make crafts and learn why we do them,” Hope said. “If someone’s looking into coming, they’d be interested in learning about our history, about the trapper era, about why they had mountain man rendezvous.”

In addition to the vendors and free demonstrations, sharp-shooters can compete in a black powder shoot, Hope said. For a $10 fee, participants Saturday can bring their black-powder rifles to shoot a variety of targets, he said, and the winner will take away a new black-powder rifle.

Pioneer-era dress is mandatory to compete, he said, though modern-dressed shooters may participate. Another contest will have shooters aim at playing cards, and a new black-powder pistol will be awarded to the shooter who gets the best poker hand among the targets, he said.

The contest shoots will take place on Saturday. Competitors may shoot from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the winners announced that evening. A fun shoot will also take place Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Native American dancers will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, contact Hope at 801-554-0527 or Shirlee Forrester at 435-228-8184. 

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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