Dressed for Wild West Days

Karen McCoy of Readstown gets into character at Wild West Days in 2017. This year, the Wild West Days Committee is sponsoring a costume contest as a way to have more people on the grounds wearing outfits depicting the time period from 1860 to 1890.

Children and adults who enjoy the Old West are invited to create an outfit for the first-ever costume contest sponsored by the Wild West Days Committee.

There are three costume categories – men, women and children. Prizes will be given for first, second and third place in each category. The time period is the Old West, from 1860 to 1890. Terry Heffner, one of the members of the costume contest committee, said people can dress as a business person, a professional person, a hunter, a mountaineer, or any other character from that time period. “Kids can dress as kids,” Heffner said.

Heffner said outfits can be sewn, or be put together using clothing and accessories purchased at rummage sales or thrift shops. For safety reasons, guns cannot be part of the wardrobe.

Judging takes place on the Wild West Days grounds in Viroqua, Saturday, Aug. 17, at 3 p.m. Entrants should be on the grounds by 10 a.m. Contestants can register on the day of the judging at Heffner’s booth on the grounds, or in advance by contacting her at 608-637-3890.

If contestants come to the Wild West Days grounds in the morning on Aug. 17, or register in advance, Heffner said they will be offered an opportunity play roles in the skits that are presented Saturday and Sunday.

Rich Walter, another member of the costume contest committee, said the judges will accept bribes from contestants. Heffner said if contestants want to bribe the judges, they should visit the judge who has his bench set up at the jail.

Heffner said the Wild West Days Committee decided to offer the costume contest as a way to get more community members involved in the event and to have more people dressed in clothing that depicts the Old West time period on the grounds.

In addition to the costume contest, Wild West Days, which runs Aug. 16-18, will have some other new features. Heffner said there will be a couple new food vendors, more and different skits, and more vendors in small buildings, rather than tents. She also said vendor row has been opened up to non-traditional vendors. There is still space for vendors, and anyone interested in securing a spot may call Heffner at 608-637-3890.

Another new feature is Tor’s Cowboy Church, which will be held at The Historic Temple Theatre, Thursday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Eric Nofsinger will be part of the show. Everyone is welcome. Admission is $10. For more information about the show, call Roger at 608-606-9953.

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Angela Cina can be reached at angie.cina@lee.net.

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Vernon County Broadcaster editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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