Western Days returns to Old Town Temecula

The Old Town Temecula Gunfighters will be the stars of the Western Days event this weekend in Old Town Temecula. They will be joined by three other gunfighter groups and a Civil War encampment at the event. Shawna Sarnowski Photography photo

Western Days will bring a snapshot of the Old West to Old Town Temecula this weekend, offering Western reenactments, music and more, all presented by the Old Town Temecula Gunfighters and sponsored by the city of Temecula.

“We have a total of four gunfighter groups from California – Code of the West, Guns of the Roundtable, Guns and Garters and the Old Town Temecula Gunfighters,” Tim Kimble, aka Dynamite Dick Clifton of the Old Town Temecula Gunfighters, said. “On the hour, there’s going to be gunfighter shows at The Hotel Temecula and at Sam Hicks Park, a new show every hour.”

What will be missing this year is the traditional high noon bank robbery skit at the intersection of Main and Front streets. But instead Saturday, there will be a Gatling gun demonstration and cowboy shootout reenactments at both main locations.

“In every performance that’s done, gun safety will be demonstrated,” Kimble said. “We are huge on gun safety. We show the kids what even blanks can do. We get a lot of compliments from parents because you know these kids play video games, and they really don’t understand that little pop, that little pop, pop, pop in the video game, what that really represents. We teach gun safety, and that’s important.”

New this year is a Civil War tent encampment located at Sam Hicks Park with around 60 Civil War reenactors, military and civilian. The group will also perform as a brass band using antique instruments.

“They’re going to be doing displays and educational activities,” Kimble said.

The Temecula Valley Historical Society will also have notable, historical characters in Temecula Valley history roaming about Old Town Temecula giving presentations and interacting with guests.

“The Blacksmith Boys will be out doing blacksmithing, and they will occasionally breaking into song,” Kimble said.

A folklorico dance group will perform in the afternoon Saturday and Sunday.

“We will also have a subtler who is going to be selling reproductions and historical articles,” Kimble said. “He goes to a lot of the Civil War reenactments in California and Arizona.”

Kimble said while it is a lot of work, he is excited about the weekend.

“You know, the biggest experience, the biggest joy that we get is the kids,” he said. “And we see kids with their ‘Toy Story’ Woody costumes and little girls with cowboy hats and, they love this. That’s the biggest part of this, the children and that they’re there to learn and we show them the Wild West, the experience of it all.”

Of course, there will be plenty of games and activities for children as well.

Western Days will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Sam Hicks Park, 41970 Moreno Road, and The Hotel Temecula, 42100 Main Street in Temecula.

Admission is free to all events.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.