at Sunset has been a summer tradition in El Dorado since the 1980s. The event,
named one of the “Top-100 Events in North America” by The American
Bus Association, recreates the 1902 shootout that led to a bitter feud between
the Tucker and Parnell families.
event returns for three performances this summer starting this weekend: June
30. Other performances are scheduled for July 28 and August 25. All the shows are at the
courthouse square (101 N. Washington St.) with live music and entertainment
starting at 6 pm.
the show, the downtown area
transforms into a historical platform and venue to witness the notorious
to the story behind the show, when small town of El Dorado, founded in 1843,
remained isolated until the arrival of railroads allowed a prosperous lumber
industry to evolve. In 1902, the Tucker-Parnell Feud erupted over a series of
disputes between the city’s marshal, Guy Tucker, and local businessman Tom
Parnell. A gunfight in the city’s streets left three men dead and Tucker (who
is the great-grandfather of former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker) and others
injured. This gunfight is the basis of Showdown at Sunset.
cast of local actors recreates the
events leading up to the gunfight. Before the re-enactment, the cast mingles
with visitors to describe the history of the area and give insight into the
people depicted. The aim is to achieve a sense of historical setting so that
visitors will better understand the recreated confrontation between the two
cast of actors wear true-to-the-era costumes and shoot real
“black-powder” guns that sound, smell, and look like the real thing.
The event is open to the public and there is no admission fee. Each person
attending also gets a free souvenir trading card.
information can be found at mainstreeteldorado.org.