You don’t need the History Channel to be entertained while learning about real events in our past. The Ushers Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids is hosting its annual Wild West Weekend featuring cowboys, outlaws and gunslingers. The Village’s Ann Cejka says the staged robberies and shootouts really happened well over a century ago.
Cejka says all of the skits and gunfights are based on actual historical events, like the James Gang raid, Billy the Kid, the O.K. Corral and some of Iowa’s wild west stories, like the first hanging. She says the young audience gets a particular kick out of seeing the live re-creations of exciting Old West shoot-outs.She says there will be gunfights all day with re-inactors in period costumes on horseback, roping demonstrations and other activities.
One of the first silent western movies ever shot, “The Great Train Robbery,” will be shown during the weekend festival, but Cejka says facts are often more interesting than fiction. Cejka says they enjoy doing the story of how Iowa’s Louisa County got its name which she says “is just a great story about claim jumping and the lead mines in Dubuque and hangings and everything.” For more information, surf to the Ushers Ferry Historic Village website at “www.ufhv.com” or call (319) 286-5763.