By 1877 The Chisholm Trail to Wichita was choked off by rural settlement and quarantine legislation, and Dodge City became the “Cowboy Capital”. Cowboys, horse thieves and horses roamed the town.
It was during 1877 when Dodge City erected tents to form a horse race track. It was not until 1884 that Dodge City built an actual arena and grandstands. They built a half mile track and seating for 3,500 spectators especially for the “Spanish Bullfight”, a highlight in Dodge City’s cattle town history.
At The Old West Festival we have built our own little arena we call The Cowboy Capital Corral. You won’t see a bullfight or any horse races exactly. But you will see some great rodeo drill teams, our Congress of Tough Riders challenge and occasionally some mounted shooting. Some wander on over to the north side of our town to see some of the fanciest and fastest riding around.
Download the Old West Festival's program here!
Download the Old West Festival's Map here!
Frequenly asked questions about the Old West Festival.
Enjoy a full day of entertainment for one low price.
The Old West Festival is not only fun for kids, but also educational! Here are some fun ways to teach the youngsters about history while they gave a great time.
In 1878 The cowboys hung out at the Long Branch Saloon. Today, they hang out at Facebook. Cowboy Up!
Watch videos of the Old West Festival on YouTube.
We are now accepting and encouraging volunteers to participate in the Old West Festival.
We are a Juried Show. We highly encourage products to represent those available in the late 1800’s American West. We expect all items sold to our patrons to be traditional or original in design, functionally appropriate, durable, well made, and guaranteed by their maker to be satisfactory to the customer. We are accepting artisan and vendor period applications for the current season. Please contact us with all your craft questions.
Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities are currently available. Please contact us to find out more about how your company can be featured in our programs, on our website or even in our town! Our Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities also include free passes to our Festival, so you and your clients can come and enjoy the fun!