Wyoming: Lusk’s Legend of Rawhide performance benefits community | TSLN.com

Wyoming: Lusk’s Legend of Rawhide performance benefits community

Heather Hamilton

Photo by Heather HamiltonA war party of Indians attacks a wagon train of pioneers during the Legend of Rawhide in Lusk, WY. The pioneers shoot back using real guns and blank rounds in an effort to defend themselves. The show is held annually the second weekend in July, and is filled with humor, excitement and action as the story line follows a legendary tale that allegedly took place just south of Lusk.

Screaming Indians on painted ponies race around a wagon train on the Eastern Wyoming plains, dodging bullets, setting fire to one unlucky pioneer’s ride west, and eventually skinning a man alive for killing their princess.

The Legend of Rawhide is a fast-paced, live reenactment of a story that allegedly took place just south of Lusk, WY, near the Rawhide Buttes, and is performed annually the second weekend in July at the Lusk fairgrounds.

“The Legend started in 1946, after the war. The county didn’t have very much money, and they wanted to improve the fairgrounds, so they put on the show and it was a huge success. A lot of the bigger buildings on our fairgrounds today were funded by the Legend,” noted area rancher, long-time Legend participant and past Indian chief Danny Hanson.

“It’s based on an episode that occurred during the settlement of the west. The story is about Clyde Pickett, who falls in love with Kate Farley. Clyde hates Indians, and vows to kill the first one he sees to impress Kate. Most of the members of the wagon train don’t like his attitude, and are simply trying to avoid trouble. It’s a very action-packed performance, and there are mounted calvary, Indians and a wagon train. It’s done very well, especially considering there are over 200 volunteer actors involved, and none of them are professional actors,” said Legend of Rawhide Board President Brett Dockery.

Legend of Rawhide coordinator Twila Barnette added that any money raised through the Legend is given back to the community.

“We try to be very supportive of our community in a number of ways. We’ve given money to the library, the Stage Coach Museum and toward the ambulance and EMT’s. We sponsor local baseball teams each summer and have a scholarship fund. This year we were able to give five $500 scholarships to local youth,” Barnette explained.

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She continued, saying that 400 volunteers gather each summer to make the production a success.

“It is a community event where we all come together and everyone has fun, and we support each other and our community in the process. The Lusk Fire Department does all the special lighting during our Indian attack, the NEA (Niobrara Electric Association) is instrumental in putting up and tearing down the set – they are what make the set possible, and will be the recipient of this year’s Friday night performance dedication,” said Barnette in regard to some of the local volunteers.

“Area ranchers have taken turns donating trees to the set, and Donna Ruffing has donated them for a number of years now,” added Hanson of the multiple pine trees that are used to convert the Lusk arena to an open pasture. “A lot of people in town also donate trees they want cut down in their yards. Other people donate their time and machinery, or bring their wagons and teams in for the performance. This is a busy time of year, but everyone works together to make each performance a success.”

Other locals provide the narrative voices heard during the performance, explaining what hundreds of community members dressed in gingham, or war paint, are acting out in front of the audience.

“People love to watch it, and to be in it. The performance is full of action, and usually an unplanned wreck or two. Beyond that it’s still a really good family show – if you like watching good horses and good riders it’s a good thing to see,” noted Hanson.

Everyone agrees that one of the best things about the Legend of Rawhide is watching young people start in it as little kids, and work their way up to leading roles over the years.

“The Legend performance was stopped in the early 1960s until 1986, and a lot of the people involved in starting it back up were in it as very young people prior to the 1960s,” explained Hanson. “I’m in the Indian camp, and after we make our big attack the look on all the young people’s faces shows how much fun they’ve just had, and that’s the greatest reward for me.”

“It’s a great way to keep the community together, and it’s different than watching a typical outdoor summer concert or show – a guy once told me it was the biggest controlled horse wreck in the world, and there is always some unplanned action happening that makes it different performance to performance and year to year,” added Hanson.

Performances are Friday and Saturday night, with a pre-show starting at 7:15 p.m. The flag ceremony and performance start at 8:15 p.m. Beginning Thursday night, and following each performance, is a dance featuring Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band.

“There are also a number of other activities on Saturday at the fairgrounds, including the Rodz and Ridez antique car show, beginning at 7 a.m., which features cars from across Wyoming and the surrounding states. The No Limit Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament begins at 11 a.m., and we have a ‘Closest to the Pin’ hole-in-one scholarship fundraiser that occurs around the teepees on the set. The Ranch Feed/Team Driving competition is at 1 p.m., and the parade kicks off at 4:30,” said Barnette of additional activities that occur during the Legend of Rawhide celebration.

“People who’ve never seen it should come watch the show because it’s a little bit of the Old West that’s still around. It’s a fun, family event that has a little bit of flare and lots of action and excitement wrapped up in it,” Barnette said.

Screaming Indians on painted ponies race around a wagon train on the Eastern Wyoming plains, dodging bullets, setting fire to one unlucky pioneer’s ride west, and eventually skinning a man alive for killing their princess.

The Legend of Rawhide is a fast-paced, live reenactment of a story that allegedly took place just south of Lusk, WY, near the Rawhide Buttes, and is performed annually the second weekend in July at the Lusk fairgrounds.

“The Legend started in 1946, after the war. The county didn’t have very much money, and they wanted to improve the fairgrounds, so they put on the show and it was a huge success. A lot of the bigger buildings on our fairgrounds today were funded by the Legend,” noted area rancher, long-time Legend participant and past Indian chief Danny Hanson.

“It’s based on an episode that occurred during the settlement of the west. The story is about Clyde Pickett, who falls in love with Kate Farley. Clyde hates Indians, and vows to kill the first one he sees to impress Kate. Most of the members of the wagon train don’t like his attitude, and are simply trying to avoid trouble. It’s a very action-packed performance, and there are mounted calvary, Indians and a wagon train. It’s done very well, especially considering there are over 200 volunteer actors involved, and none of them are professional actors,” said Legend of Rawhide Board President Brett Dockery.

Legend of Rawhide coordinator Twila Barnette added that any money raised through the Legend is given back to the community.

“We try to be very supportive of our community in a number of ways. We’ve given money to the library, the Stage Coach Museum and toward the ambulance and EMT’s. We sponsor local baseball teams each summer and have a scholarship fund. This year we were able to give five $500 scholarships to local youth,” Barnette explained.

She continued, saying that 400 volunteers gather each summer to make the production a success.

“It is a community event where we all come together and everyone has fun, and we support each other and our community in the process. The Lusk Fire Department does all the special lighting during our Indian attack, the NEA (Niobrara Electric Association) is instrumental in putting up and tearing down the set – they are what make the set possible, and will be the recipient of this year’s Friday night performance dedication,” said Barnette in regard to some of the local volunteers.

“Area ranchers have taken turns donating trees to the set, and Donna Ruffing has donated them for a number of years now,” added Hanson of the multiple pine trees that are used to convert the Lusk arena to an open pasture. “A lot of people in town also donate trees they want cut down in their yards. Other people donate their time and machinery, or bring their wagons and teams in for the performance. This is a busy time of year, but everyone works together to make each performance a success.”

Other locals provide the narrative voices heard during the performance, explaining what hundreds of community members dressed in gingham, or war paint, are acting out in front of the audience.

“People love to watch it, and to be in it. The performance is full of action, and usually an unplanned wreck or two. Beyond that it’s still a really good family show – if you like watching good horses and good riders it’s a good thing to see,” noted Hanson.

Everyone agrees that one of the best things about the Legend of Rawhide is watching young people start in it as little kids, and work their way up to leading roles over the years.

“The Legend performance was stopped in the early 1960s until 1986, and a lot of the people involved in starting it back up were in it as very young people prior to the 1960s,” explained Hanson. “I’m in the Indian camp, and after we make our big attack the look on all the young people’s faces shows how much fun they’ve just had, and that’s the greatest reward for me.”

“It’s a great way to keep the community together, and it’s different than watching a typical outdoor summer concert or show – a guy once told me it was the biggest controlled horse wreck in the world, and there is always some unplanned action happening that makes it different performance to performance and year to year,” added Hanson.

Performances are Friday and Saturday night, with a pre-show starting at 7:15 p.m. The flag ceremony and performance start at 8:15 p.m. Beginning Thursday night, and following each performance, is a dance featuring Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band.

“There are also a number of other activities on Saturday at the fairgrounds, including the Rodz and Ridez antique car show, beginning at 7 a.m., which features cars from across Wyoming and the surrounding states. The No Limit Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament begins at 11 a.m., and we have a ‘Closest to the Pin’ hole-in-one scholarship fundraiser that occurs around the teepees on the set. The Ranch Feed/Team Driving competition is at 1 p.m., and the parade kicks off at 4:30,” said Barnette of additional activities that occur during the Legend of Rawhide celebration.

“People who’ve never seen it should come watch the show because it’s a little bit of the Old West that’s still around. It’s a fun, family event that has a little bit of flare and lots of action and excitement wrapped up in it,” Barnette said.

Screaming Indians on painted ponies race around a wagon train on the Eastern Wyoming plains, dodging bullets, setting fire to one unlucky pioneer’s ride west, and eventually skinning a man alive for killing their princess.

The Legend of Rawhide is a fast-paced, live reenactment of a story that allegedly took place just south of Lusk, WY, near the Rawhide Buttes, and is performed annually the second weekend in July at the Lusk fairgrounds.

“The Legend started in 1946, after the war. The county didn’t have very much money, and they wanted to improve the fairgrounds, so they put on the show and it was a huge success. A lot of the bigger buildings on our fairgrounds today were funded by the Legend,” noted area rancher, long-time Legend participant and past Indian chief Danny Hanson.

“It’s based on an episode that occurred during the settlement of the west. The story is about Clyde Pickett, who falls in love with Kate Farley. Clyde hates Indians, and vows to kill the first one he sees to impress Kate. Most of the members of the wagon train don’t like his attitude, and are simply trying to avoid trouble. It’s a very action-packed performance, and there are mounted calvary, Indians and a wagon train. It’s done very well, especially considering there are over 200 volunteer actors involved, and none of them are professional actors,” said Legend of Rawhide Board President Brett Dockery.

Legend of Rawhide coordinator Twila Barnette added that any money raised through the Legend is given back to the community.

“We try to be very supportive of our community in a number of ways. We’ve given money to the library, the Stage Coach Museum and toward the ambulance and EMT’s. We sponsor local baseball teams each summer and have a scholarship fund. This year we were able to give five $500 scholarships to local youth,” Barnette explained.

She continued, saying that 400 volunteers gather each summer to make the production a success.

“It is a community event where we all come together and everyone has fun, and we support each other and our community in the process. The Lusk Fire Department does all the special lighting during our Indian attack, the NEA (Niobrara Electric Association) is instrumental in putting up and tearing down the set – they are what make the set possible, and will be the recipient of this year’s Friday night performance dedication,” said Barnette in regard to some of the local volunteers.

“Area ranchers have taken turns donating trees to the set, and Donna Ruffing has donated them for a number of years now,” added Hanson of the multiple pine trees that are used to convert the Lusk arena to an open pasture. “A lot of people in town also donate trees they want cut down in their yards. Other people donate their time and machinery, or bring their wagons and teams in for the performance. This is a busy time of year, but everyone works together to make each performance a success.”

Other locals provide the narrative voices heard during the performance, explaining what hundreds of community members dressed in gingham, or war paint, are acting out in front of the audience.

“People love to watch it, and to be in it. The performance is full of action, and usually an unplanned wreck or two. Beyond that it’s still a really good family show – if you like watching good horses and good riders it’s a good thing to see,” noted Hanson.

Everyone agrees that one of the best things about the Legend of Rawhide is watching young people start in it as little kids, and work their way up to leading roles over the years.

“The Legend performance was stopped in the early 1960s until 1986, and a lot of the people involved in starting it back up were in it as very young people prior to the 1960s,” explained Hanson. “I’m in the Indian camp, and after we make our big attack the look on all the young people’s faces shows how much fun they’ve just had, and that’s the greatest reward for me.”

“It’s a great way to keep the community together, and it’s different than watching a typical outdoor summer concert or show – a guy once told me it was the biggest controlled horse wreck in the world, and there is always some unplanned action happening that makes it different performance to performance and year to year,” added Hanson.

Performances are Friday and Saturday night, with a pre-show starting at 7:15 p.m. The flag ceremony and performance start at 8:15 p.m. Beginning Thursday night, and following each performance, is a dance featuring Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band.

“There are also a number of other activities on Saturday at the fairgrounds, including the Rodz and Ridez antique car show, beginning at 7 a.m., which features cars from across Wyoming and the surrounding states. The No Limit Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament begins at 11 a.m., and we have a ‘Closest to the Pin’ hole-in-one scholarship fundraiser that occurs around the teepees on the set. The Ranch Feed/Team Driving competition is at 1 p.m., and the parade kicks off at 4:30,” said Barnette of additional activities that occur during the Legend of Rawhide celebration.

“People who’ve never seen it should come watch the show because it’s a little bit of the Old West that’s still around. It’s a fun, family event that has a little bit of flare and lots of action and excitement wrapped up in it,” Barnette said.

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