Missoula County Coverage

Aug 5, 2013 6:47 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Ol' West Fest comes to Missoula to stay

MISSOULA - Organizers of the Ol' West Fest say their inaugural year in Missoula turned out well, and they're already talking about next year's event.

The Ol' West Fest had been a staple in Helena for the past several years. But when the original organizers decided it was time to step aside, efforts were launched to bring the event to Fort Missoula. And this weekend a steady crowd wandered the grounds soaking in the "Old West" atmosphere.

Attractions ranged from Native American stories to period music and costumes, and even a live action "showdown", with the old depot providing the perfect backdrop.

Of course you've seen enough westerns over the years to know how this one turns out, as the Doc gets his comeuppance for being an Army deserter, and the rowdy townsfolk have to brought in line with a gunfight...

No wonder most of the towns in the Old West ended up as ghost towns!

From period costumes, to genuine antiques, pony rides and even rope making and blacksmithing, it was a chance to step back in time.

Organizer Matt Ulberg says being the 1st year in Missoula the performers were really happy to see some many kids and families show up to enjoy the fun. He tells me turnout was a little lighter than they had hoped but he expects word will spread and the audience will build. Ulberg says people who did come said they loved the festival and the group is "committed" to keeping the event going at its' new home in 2014.

He also adds the people at the museum were "awesome" and the venue was perfect for continuing to share the legend of the Old West. Facebook Twitter Email

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