Cave Creek has a storied western history that dates back to 1870s, when miners and ranchers began to settle the area.
During the weekend of Nov. 3-5, Wild West Days will celebrate Cave Creek’s western heritage and culture.
Event chair Evelyn Johnson, a 20-year Cave Creek resident, said the celebration gives visitors a chance to see what makes Cave Creek distinctive.
“The theme of Western truly isn’t a fashion statement. It’s a way of life. Cave Creek really embraces that way of life,” Johnson said.
Put on by the Cave Creek Merchants and Events Association, the event will kick off on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. with a bull riding competition at the Buffalo Chip Saloon and close with a motorcycle poker run on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
The Saturday festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with the annual Wild West Days Parade, which runs along Cave Creek Road.
Local organizations such as the Cave Creek Saddle Club, and groups and rodeo royalty from nearby towns take part in the parade each year.
This year, former mayor Vincent Francia will serve as grand marshal.
Johnson said for a number of locals, the parade is an annual tradition.
“Our residents will put their chairs in place to watch the parade in the same place they’ve been watching the parade for years,” Johnson said.
Several Cave Creek venues will have activities during the festival:
American Legion Post 34
From 6 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, American Legion Post 34 will host a special breakfast with down-home favorites such as biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage and bacon. During lunch from noon to 4 p.m., the local chapter will have hamburgers, hot dogs and brats.
At American Legion Post 34, the Patriotic Guards will raise money for Snowball Express, an organization that provides transportation and housing to widows and families of fallen military, and the Arizona Patriotic Guard Scholarship Fund.
On Saturday, the Frontier Town western town will be the center of family-friendly fun, with activities such as gold panning, pictures with Prince Charming, stick-horse making, a half-pie eating contest and a gold nugget hunt.
From 4 to 9 p.m., Triple R Horse Rescue, a horse rehabilitation and rescue organization out of Cave Creek, will raise money through a round-up fundraiser at Frontier Town.
The local American Legion will have music all day on Saturday from groups such as the Cave Creek Legends Band.
Buffalo Chip Saloon & Harold’s Cave Creek Corral
Throughout the weekend, many of Cave Creek’s bars and restaurants will host multiple country and rock bands.
Visitors can watch mutton busting at the Buffalo Chip Saloon following the parade and pig races at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral at 1 and 3 p.m.
Harold’s will also host a cornhole tournament and a dance on Saturday evening.
The Horny Toad
Those interested in fast-draw can try out their skills on Saturday and Sunday at the Horny Toad, starting at 9 a.m. The Association of Arizona Gunslingers will be on-hand to teach visitors about quick-draw shooting. The cost is $5 for 10 target shots.
The Horny Toad will also have live music and family-friendly activities such as face painting and caricature drawing throughout the weekend.
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