DILLON – Celebrate the past at Bannack State Park during Bannack Days this weekend.
The family-friendly event will feature demonstrations of traditional handicrafts, a walk up to Hangman’s Gulch to learn about buffalo guns, the Infantry, and experience a 1860s gold camp.
You can try your luck at gold panning, hand-dip your own souvenir candle, or watch the blacksmith forge an incredible work of art from a flat piece of iron.
Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available throughout the day or if you prefer more modern transportation there is a Model AA truck motoring around the town.
Other fun offerings include a gunfight on Main Street, as well as bluegrass, barbershop, and gospel music.
Organizers say the re-enactments and crowds can be loud and scary for pets. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged. For more information, please call the park office at (406) 834-3413.
Bannack Days will run on Saturday, July 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Special event admission to Bannack is $5 per person; children 8 and under are free. Click here for a full schedule of events.
Bannack State Park is a National Historic Landmark and the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery on July 28, 1862.
The strike set off a massive gold rush that swelled Bannack’s population to over 3,000 by 1863. But as the value of gold steadily dwindled, Bannack’s bustling population was slowly lost.
Today, over 50 original buildings line Main Street and their historic log and frame structures recall Montana’s formative years.
-Chet Layman reporting for MTN News