As part of Dodge City’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Dodge City hosted Founder’s Weekend, a three-day commemoration honoring our city’s founders, from June 17 through June 19. The event included a concert in Wright Park, a five-mile run, an all-day celebration at the Boot Hill Museum, and the dedication of the Bat Masterson statue at the Home of Stone.
The five-hour concert featured seven bands playing a variety of music, from face-melting surf punk to soulful country. The crowd swelled as the sun went down. By the last performance of the evening, concertgoers filled the area in front of the stage. Some concert attendees lingered in Wright Park long after the concert had concluded.
“This was a great event. Everyone from the musician, the vendors, and attendees had a great night,” said Coral Lopez, Main Street Director, and Dodge City 150th Anniversary Events Chair. “We estimate nearly 400 people attended the concert throughout the evening. The crowd even sold out two of the food trucks. We couldn’t be happier, and hope bring back this event!”
Saturday’s festivities started with the Whiskey Run, a five-mile run that took runners past some of Dodge City’s most historic sites. The fun continued at the Boot Hill Museum with Hoover Day, an all-day celebration of George Hoover, one of the founders of Dodge City. At least 1,200 people flooded the museum throughout the day to enjoy medicine shows, gunfights, can-can lessons, deputizings, an ice cream social, the chance to meet Buck Taylor, and mini-performances of the Long Branch Variety Show and a concert from the Dodge City Cowboy Band.
The weekend concluded on Sunday, June 19, at the Mueller-Schmidt House/Home of Stone with the unveiling and dedication of the Bat Masterson Statue. In addition to a crowd of over 75 spectators, the statues sculptors, Carson and Charlie Norton and family, Ken Masterson, the great-great nephew of Bat Masterson, and Buck Taylor and his wife Goldie, attended the ceremony.
Upcoming events for the Dodge City 150th anniversary include the first Whisker Roundup on Saturday, July 23 at 2 p.m. in the Depot Theater, Dodge City Days beginning July 28 and running through August 7, and the return of Ham Bell’s Pioneer Picnic in September in Wright Park. To get involved or for more information about Dodge City’s 150th Anniversary, visit www.dodgecity150.com.