Western Legends, longhorns come to town; time warp at high noon

KANAB — The annual Western Legends Roundup returns to Utah’s Little Hollywood Thursday-Saturday in full celebration of film, music, poetry and Western heritage. This year’s theme, “How the West was Won,” brings special guest star Bruce Boxleitner who played Luke McCahan in the classic TV show.

Click here for a complete schedule of events, too many to list, and then hopalong down to the Western Legends Roundup. Pre-events begin Monday, the full festival runs Thursday through Saturday.

The original "Grizzly Adams," Dan Haggardy.
The original “Grizzly Adams,” Dan Haggardy.

Whether you are in a parade or just watching, visiting and chewing the fat with the stars, or touring the old Hollywood sets in town, all guests of the Western Legends Roundup are invited to wear western clothing and get into the spirit of the historical celebration.

Western Legends rounds up the stars 

If there’s one thing the Western Legends Roundup is known for, it’s the draw it has for Hollywood stars, each with a long list of roles played in Westerns, and of course their fans.

This year’s “cast” includes: Bruce Boxleitner, Don Collier, Neil Summers, Robert Shore, Cheryl Rogers Barnett, Dan Haggerty, Cathy Garver, Clint Walker, Darby Hinton, Ed Faulkner, Barry Corbin, Alex Cord, Rudy Ramos, and Don Shanks.

Gabby Hayes look-alike Rob Doudell and Hopalong Cassidy look-alike Joe “Hoppy” Sullivan will fill the bill for those inimitable Western stars since gone.

Wyatt McCrea returns representing his grandparents Joel McCrea and Francis Dee and as an author and producer in his own right.

Names familiar but can’t quite remember what they played in? See Western Legends Roundup Hollywood Heroes Web page linked here.

Texas Longhorns cattle drive

What would a Roundup be without a cattle drive? Be prepared to take a step back in time to the Old West Saturday at high noon when up to 30 head of Texas Longhorn cattle from Dammeron Valley will be driven down Center Street by cowboys and cowgirls for the annual Western Legends High Noon Parade.

Parade at the 2011 Western Legends Round-Up featuring Longhorn cattle | Courtesy of Stephen Browning
Parade at the 2011 Western Legends Round-Up featuring Longhorn cattle | Photo courtesy of Stephen Browning, St. George News

The longhorns will be followed by other nonmotorized and Western-themed entries to maintain the historical nature of the celebration and give spectators a peek into the Old West.

Doug Hunt, of Dammeron Valley, will bring his herd of Texas Longhorn cattle to Kanab for this year’s High Noon Parade.

J. Frank Dobie, a Texas historian and author, said that the cowboy was born following a herd of Texas Longhorn cows. Spectators can celebrate the beginnings of the cowboy as local cowboys and cowgirls assist the Hunt family in safely driving the herd through the crowd of spectators.

The longhorns will be followed by 15 horse- and mule-drawn wagons from the wagon train ride that takes place just before the Western Legends celebration. Guests of the wagon train will reunite to ride behind the longhorns and share a glimpse of traveling in the Old West.

The longhorn drive has been a crowd favorite for years, and the streets are packed, so come early to set up chairs and enjoy this one-of-a-kind parade. There will be an emcee announcing the parade on the southwest corner of the Center and Main Street intersection.

Parades aplenty

Besides the High Noon parade Saturday, Western Legends will hold two more parades for guests to enjoy during the three-day festival.

The first parade will take place Thursday at 3:30 p.m. as the wagon train comes into town at the conclusion of their journey from Alton. Folks can watch them roll into town, beginning at the Comfort Inn hotel east of Kanab and heading west to the stoplight at 300 South and 100 East and then south toward the high school.

The second parade, “The Parade of Power,” will take place Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on Center Street, beginning at the historic Parry Lodge Hotel as the antique tractors competing in the Tractor Pull roll westward through town. These antique tractors will give spectators an opportunity to see some of the early motorized equipment used to farm and cultivate the land.

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