Frontier Day, a full day of cowboy gun fights, authentic cowboy music, and demonstrations of 19th Century crafts, returns to Saloon Studios on Saturday, May 27, 2023. Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. and events run through 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 if purchased on-line at https://saloonstudioslive.com and $25 at the gate. Children under 12 have free admission.
“This marks the fourth year Frontier Day has opened our summer concert series,” said Laura Jones, co-owner of Saloon Studios with her husband, Mike. “Once the gun smoke clears, we welcome folks to come back over the summer weekends and listen to some great concerts.”
Cowboys from Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina will be coming in for Frontier Day. They will be dressed in authentic clothing and carrying authentic pistols, rifles and shotguns of the late 19th century.
“Most of us met more than 40 years ago doing Civil War reenacting. Ten years ago, one of us discovered a steam train running in West Virginia. He called us up and talked us into becoming cowboy reenactors so we could stage a Western train robbery. We are just like little kids again at Christmas when our parents gave us toy guns for gifts. Now, they are real guns,” said Clint Johnson of Ashe County who organizes Frontier Day.
Something new has been added in the barn this year to entertain children. Southern Sun Farms, a horse sanctuary in Ashe County, will be represented by Doc and Chief, two permanent residents of the Farm. Doc, a huge Belgian draft horse, moved to the mountains when he could no longer take the heat of living on the coast. Two children’s books have been written about him. Writer Pam Lather will attend to read and sign those books. Chief, The Kissing Horse, will be on hand to kiss everyone in sight. All donations made to Southern Sun Farms are tax deductible and welcome as hay, feed, tractor fuel and everything else needed to care for 18 horses has gone up in price.
Food trucks will be on hand all day. Gun fights will be staged around scenarios often encountered in The Old West such as cheating at cards, and drunks being thrown out of a saloon. There will be skits performed by Tweetsie Railroad alumni, and singing of authentic cowboy songs by Singing Cowboy Andy Johnson
Spectators are welcome to roam the town, a block-long town with recreated shops, a Wells Fargo office, and a sheriff’s office. Saloon Studios, a performance venue and recording studio, anchors one end of the town.
That same day, at 5:30 p.m., DANGEROUS OLD COWBOYS will be shown at The Parkway Theater in downtown West Jefferson. The 30-minute movie, starring these same cowboys as well as several Ashe County residents, was filmed in two days before the 2022 Frontier Days. Admission is free. Just buy popcorn, candy and drinks. Last year more than 400 attended the performance.