Calif. -- The
2012 Stagecoach Days Festival took place A.C. Dysart Park in the
small town of Banning, Calif. on the weekend after Labor Day.
This was not the country music festival that most people think
of in Indio, Calif. Instead, it was a festival celebrating the
wild, wild west. There were gunfighting competitions, stagecoach
rides and a wild west encampment. The Radio Flyers Band provided
the music on Sunday, Sept. 9. For the kids, there were carnival
rides and midway rides. In addition, it was the first time the
festival hosted a rodeo in four years.
lesson on gun safety preceded all of the gunfighting competitions.
Children were advised not to play with guns -- instead, turn them
of us put hours and dollars into providing our costume, our guns
and because we love the old west," said Gunfighter Diamond
Jim Dandy. "This weekend, a bunch of us re-enactors, we're
all members of the Reenactment Guild of America, we get together
and we put on skits of the old days anywhere from 1865 all the
way up to 1899. Our clothes are pretty correct, our boots are
pretty correct and our guns are pretty correct. All of the skits
are family oriented. The dialog is pretty correct and we just
have a good time."
girls from Beaumont, Calif. gave the mechanical bull a try, but
they didn't last very long.
is my third year here," said Hayleigh Birditt, who was volunteering
for the LifePoint Church. "The mechanical bull was painful,
it was fun. I lasted about seven seconds maybe. I was sitting
down at the petting zoo and I heard some of the music. I haven't
watched it yet. I tried nachos down there at one of the booths
and it was pretty good. No, I haven't been on any other rides
yet. I might buy some tickets."
friend, Savannah Thompson, added: "It is my first time here.
It was hard riding the mechanical bull. I lasted two seconds.
We tried Pony's Express and they have really good smoothies. I'm
thinking about going on bumper cars."
Coleman, co-owner of Sweat Scentsations, introduced me to her
new line of soap bars and lotions.
brought glycerine bars and french milled bars that we make here
in town," Coleman explained. "We also have our cucumber-based
lotions that we've matched the scents with our soap bars. They're
all natural--no additives, no preservatives and no oil byproducts.
These are made from home in our kitchens. For this event, I would
have liked the turnout to be better. I've met a lot of really
interesting people. We've had fun. We will be at the Big Bear
Oktoberfest, so we're trying to stay with local events. We will
be at next year's Beaumont Market Night."
were 60 units in the annual parade, which took place on Ramsey
Street on Saturday morning.
been coming for a few years," said attendee Illeah Taylor
of Banning, Calif. "It's better than last year. Last year
was boring. The rides are better, I think. I was eating at Domino's
and all of the other places, it's pretty good. I haven't really
watched the entertainment. We just have to buy tickets because
they're not doing wristbands this year."
Kaleigh Pomeroy, added: "I think it's been better in the
past, but this year has been way better than last year because
last year there really wasn't anything. No, I haven't eaten."
the first Stagecoach Days festival for a retired couple who recently
moved from Hamburg, Germany to Banning, Calif.
time to the fair," Dietrich Hoffman said. "We wanted
a nice community to live where it's warm. Palm Springs is known
for people who have problems with their bones. That's why we decided
on this nice location, Banning. I see there are a lot of vendors
here. The crowd is just starting to come here. There are much
more good things here. Food is the next thing we're looking for--having
some good Spanish food and some American food, etc. Outstanding,
I'm a person that likes country music. The gunfights will be the
next thing that we stop to see."
Linda, added: "It's nice here. I haven't tried the food yet.
The entertainment sounds wonderful. I'm really glad they're having
it. They were threatening rain this morning, it's still great."
Barbara Hanna offered a preview of next year's Banning Centennial
100th birthday is 2013," Hanna said. "We're going to
be celebrating all year long. We have events from an Earth Day,
I don't think Banning's ever had an Earth Day. Ours will be April
13. It's going to be at the Gilman Ranch. It's going to be packed
with things to do. We're going to have Fourth of July events,
but it's going to be on the sixth of July. It turns out the local
Fourth of July celebrations are on that Thursday in 2013. We decided
to put ours off until Saturday. We're going to have the fireworks
of the century--the best fireworks anyone's ever seen in this
area. We're going to have an international family festival in
September. We're going to have a train festival, a quilt festival.
It's just going to be tons of things to do all year long."
councilwoman added: "We'll be promoting it all throughout
the inland empire--not just in Banning. Of course, we want everyone
to participate in. Most of them will be free of charge. We're
trying to raise the money we need to put on these events. The
City of Banning can't actually fund it so we're raising sponsorships.
We're trying to raise $100,000 half of which will be for the events.
Fireworks are pretty expensive, for example. The other half is
going to go towards creating a Banning Community Fund. It's going
to be an endowment that will pay out money every year to local
non-profits. We're not just doing a one day or one-year event.
It's going to make a difference for a long time to come."
a sponsor of the Banning Centennial and the Community Fund, call
Councilwoman Hanna at (951) 922-0856.