Today found us attending the Banning Stagecoach Days event in the town of Banning, California. Held every year on the second weekend in September, this community event features a rodeo, carnival rides, and a Wild West Show sponsored by the Border Renegades. The Wild West Show portrays a slice of the Old West, consisting of a Wild West encampment where gunfighter shows are performed along with other living history activities to include a costume contest.
So what was it that brought two urban sophisticates out to the wilds of Banning? The costume contest, of course! We were asked by the organizers to reprise our roles as judges at the costume contest and naturally we agreed to help out; we also helped judge last year’s Stagecoach Days event and we’d had a lot of fun doing it, in spite of a hail storm that forced us to carry on the contest inside of a large tent.
Although the temperature was in the low 90s, we spent a pleasant afternoon judging the contest from the shade of a large fly, fanned by a nice steady breeze. We were also treated by displays of daring-do by several gunfighter groups who made a special effort to put on their shows in spite of the heat and an overly-loud rodeo announcer that threatened to drown out their dialog.
In spite of the challenges, everyone had a good time and many people came home winners. In the case of the gunfight groups, there was even prize money and there were definitely some happy faces.
After the event, we retired to a local restaurant, Gramma’s Country Kitchen, for a relaxing late lunch to include fresh pie and ice cream (of course, I had Apple Pie, my favorite). Finally, we wish to thank our hosts/event organizers Bill and Ann Lamb and Rebecca Dougherty who invited us out to the event and went above and beyond to make it a pleasant experience. All in all, it was a nice outing and we look forward to coming back to Banning in the future.