May Is Fort Smith Western Heritage Month

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What would you expect from a city that’s been named a Top Western Town by True West magazine? A month of fun activities dedicated to western heritage, and that’s just what you’ll get in Fort Smith in May.

Fort_Smith_rodeo_barrel racer

Fort Smith Western Heritage Month brings to light just what it means to have “true grit” with a ton of events throughout the month, ending with the well-known Old Fort Days Rodeo.

Here’s a list from Thingstodoinfortsmith.com of some of the fun you can take part in:

May 1-2: Steel Horse Rally (Downtown Fort Smith) –  Downtown Fort Smith Steel Horse Rally Motorcycle Parade. Bikes will park in the center of Garrison Avenue. Also enjoy great live music and entertainment.

May 1-2: Hangin’ Judge Cutting Horse Show (Kay Rodgers Park)  – Experience one of the world’s most popular equine sports.

May 1-2: IC Spring Carnival (Downtown Fort Smith, 13th Street) – Games and fun for the whole family. Free entertainment, live music, and loads of food booths. Visit the silent auction and buy a chance on a $10,000 giveaway. For more information, call 479-783-6798.

May 2:  Cannon Firing (Fort Smith National Historic Site) – US Army exhibit from Chaffee Crossing Museum set up on the Historic Site parade ground.

May 2:  May Day (Clayton House) –Drop in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for tea in Fort Smith’s only Victorian-era home authentically restored and open to the public for tours. Enjoy scones, warm tea and mimosas, inside or on the grounds. The $15 fee includes a guided tour, craft, and a chance to grasp a ribbon from the May Pole for some cheery fun with friends.

May 2-3: Lawbreakers & Peacemakers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum)

May 3: Walking Tour of Victorian Homes sponsored by the Clayton House

May 3: Indian Territory Pistoliers – Pioneer covered wagon living history display. (The wagon will be set across the street from the Fort Smith National Park / Gallows from 12pm-5pm)

May 4: Frontier Marshals Lecture – (Blue Lion on 2nd Street – 6:30 p.m.)

May 7: Program with Denny Flynn, 6:00 p. m. (Fort Smith Museum of History)

May 8: US Marshals Safe Kids! Fair – (Pendegraft Park, 3-6 p.m.) – An event featuring multiple community agencies focusing on safety for community children. Free DNA LifePrint Kits will be available (includes fingerprints, palm prints, photographs, and DNA swabbing to aid law enforcement in the event a child goes missing).

May 9: National Train Day (Frisco Station) – Many activities planned including an open house, tours and several activities for adults and children.

May 9: Choctaw Nation Stickball Demonstration (Historic Site Grounds) – An event for the entire family Learn about the game of stickball, participate in bead making and much more. (Sponsored by the Hardwood Tree Museum)

May 9-10: Indian Territory Pistoliers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum)

May 15-16: Western Heritage Art Show (Old Frisco Station – Downtown)  – Featured art for sale with themes of western frontier, prairie, Native American, and cowboy and well as other art. Free event to attend to see the artwork. For more information contact Joan McCoy at [email protected]

May 16: Judge Parker’s Rope War – (Harry E. Kelley Riverfront Park – High Noon)  Join ThingsToDoInFortSmith.com and KISR 93 for the 2nd annual tug-o-war showdown on the river in downtown Fort Smith. This is family-friendly event is fun to watch or grab the rope and participate. Who will take home to sought after “GOLDEN NOOSE?” Plus, a special opening performance by the Indian Territory Pistoliers at start of the Rope War!

May 16: Lawbreakers & Peacemakers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum)

May 16: Walking Tour of Garrison Avenue with Judge & Mrs. Parker (benefiting the Fort Smith Museum of History)

May 16: Indian Territory Pistoliers – Pioneer covered wagon living history display. (The wagon will be set across the street from from the Fort Smith National Park / Gallows from 12pm-5pm)

May 16: Walking Tour of Victorian Homes (sponsored by the Clayton House)

May 18-23: Old Fort Barrel Futurity & Derby (Kay Rodgers Park)

May 23: Sutton Mansion Civil War Hospital (Clayton House)

May 23: Movie Night in the Park – (Fort Smith National Historic Site) Come out and watch the original True Grit on an outdoor screen on the lawn of the historic site. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs. (Time TBD – check back later.)

May 23 & 24: Indian Territory Pistoliers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum)

May 24: Cowboy Mounted Shooting Demonstration (Marshals Museum Grounds, Downtown on the River – 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.)

May 24: Lawbreakers and Peacemakers on site during the mounted shooting demonstration with an “ole west” town set up, and performances before the shooting takes place.

May 25: IC Church Pancake Breakfast (Parish Center, 6a.m.) –  Immaculate Conception Parish Hall, 7 a.m. – Pancake breakfast featuring pancakes, sausage, juice, etc, held at Immaculate Conception Church at the head of Garrison Avenue.

May 25: Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade and 5K Colordash (Downtown, 10 a.m.) – A community-wide Color 5k (Participants are provided a shirt and showered with color powder at multiple stations throughout the race) leading the Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade and winding through the downtown area of Fort Smith. Unique course, hundreds of participants expected. To sign up and for more details, go to thecolordash5k.com

May 25: Optimist Club Carnival – Old Town Club Parking Lot-Garrison Ave

May 25: Cowboy Poets (Fort Smith Museum of History – following the Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade)

May 25: Indian Territory Pistoliers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum – after parade)

May 25-30: Old Fort Days Rodeo (Kay Rodgers Park)

May 28: Queen’s Tea – honoring current and former rodeo queens and Dandies (1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Fort Smith Museum of History)

May 30: Indian Territory Pistoliers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum)

May 30: Optimist Club Rifle Raffle  – winner announced at the Old Fort Days Rodeo (Kay Rodgers Park)

May 31: Lawbreakers & Peacemakers Robbing of the Trolley (Fort Smith Trolley Museum)

May 31: Indian Territory Pistoliers – Pioneer covered wagon living history display. (The wagon will be set across the street from from the Fort Smith National Park / Gallows from 12 p.m.-5 p.m.)