Celebrating its 76th year, Winthrop’s ’49er Days is an old west heritage festival that recalls the Methow Valley’s colorful past. The three days of activities are presented by the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce and Washington Outfitters and Guides Association (WOGA). Sponsors include Pardner’s Mini Market, River’s Edge Resort, Sun Mountain Lodge, River Run Inn, VIP Cascades Insurance Agency and Pine Near RV Park.
Here’s a schedule of events to help plan your weekend. The activities are free unless otherwise noted. Please be aware of and observe COVID protocols.
FRIDAY, MAY 7
• Noon: The annual Washington Outfitters & Guides Association’s (WOGA) Ride to Rendezvous wagon train arrives in downtown Winthrop. Watch the horses and wagons ride through town after spending five days on the Methow Valley’s backcountry trails. WOGA joins other sponsors in hosting several wounded warriors on the ride.
SATURDAY, MAY 8
• 11 a.m.: The ’49er Days parade proceeds up Riverside Avenue, featuring pack strings, horses, floats, music, mountain men, old-time vehicles and much more. Look for Grand Lady and Marshal Carolyn and Bob Groninger, as well as ’49er Days junior royalty Peyton Lawrence, Hannah Binning and Madi Surface. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries in each category. Parade entry forms, due by Friday (May 7) are available at https://winthropwashington.com/events/old-west-festival.
• Noon-2 p.m.: Old-fashioned games for kids in front of Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe on Riverside Avenue, including egg toss, pie eating contest, hula-hoop contest, international gummy bear spitting and a rock-paper-scissors contest.
• 7-10 p.m.: Country western family street dance on Riverside Avenue featuring Johnny Green and the Pack String. Cost is $10 per person; buy tickets on advance at https://winthropwashington.com/events/old-west-festival. Old Schoolhouse Brewery and Methow Valley Ciderhouse will host a beer garden.
Mack Lloyd Park
• Noon: Outfitter display camps, live music, crafts and merchandise vendors, demonstrations at the Mountain Men camp.
Winthrop Kiwanis will offer barbeque pulled pork sandwiches until 2 p.m., or until they sell out. Proceeds go to support the community projects. Cost for a sandwich, drink and chips is $10; sandwich only, $9, drink or chips only, $1.
• 5-6 p.m.: Outfitter Dinner including steak, barbecue and Dutch oven fixings. Cost of $25. Dinner includes cowboy poetry, music and stories around the campfire.
SUNDAY, MAY 9
Mack Lloyd Park
• 8-10 a.m.: Mother’s Day cowboy breakfast. Cost is $10.
For more information, visit https://winthropwashington.com/events/old-west-festival.