McALESTER, Okla. — Organizers of the Wild West Festival are hoping to lasso even larger crowds for this year’s 20th annual event.

The festival’s expansion to a two-day event in 2015 proved so successful that two days have been scheduled for this year’s festival as well. It’s set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, which is next Friday and Saturday, in McAlester’s Old Town on the north side of the city.

“This will probably be the biggest event we’ve ever had,” said Twilia Gray, a member of the Old Town Association, which organizes the annual festival. “It’s our 20th year and all the Old Town Association members are all involved.”

Once again, the festival includes live entertainment, simulated gunfights, children’s games and rides. Vendors will also have booths set up to sell food, crafts and other items.

The festival’s outdoor stage is set up at the intersection of North Main Street and Stonewall Avenue, where the festival will kick off at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.

Following the festival opening, the Pake McEntire Band is scheduled to play from 5 until 8 p.m. on the festival’s main stage. Also that night, there will be a free outdoor showing of the classic Western movie “True Grit” in Hutchison Park. The movie is set to begin around dark, organizers said.

Plans call for the festival to continue from 9 until 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, with music by the Ralph Cox Band. A medicine show and the Oklahoma Kid’s trick roping are scheduled from 10:30 until 11 a.m. The Quibble Brothers Band is set to perform from 11 a.m. until noon.

At high noon, the Pistoliers wild West re-enactment group, from Fort Smith, Arkansas, is scheduled to put on a gunfight show. The festival’s king and queen are also scheduled to be crowned around noon.

Afternoon activities on Oct. 1 include another set by the Quibble Brothers Band. A bevy of activities are set from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m., including performances by the McAlester PomSquads, more Oklahoma Kid trick roping and another gunfight re-enactment from the Pistoliers.

Wesley Michael Hayes & the Outlaw Territory Band will perform from 2 until 3 p.m. on Oct. 1.

More performances and musical sets are scheduled for the remainder of the afternoon on Oct. 1, when the festival is set to conclude around 5:30 p.m.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

Locations