May 11, 2023
Pawnee Bill’s Original Wild West Show Set for June 10
PAWNEE, Okla. — The Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum will celebrate the lives of Major Gordon W. “Pawnee Bill” Lillie, his wife May Lillie and their famous Wild West Shows with a one-day celebration on Saturday, June 10. Pawnee Bill’s Original Wild West Show will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the original historic ranch site. Stagecoaches will roll amid thundering horse hooves while the lightning of gunfire explodes around Pawnee Bill, May and their cohorts as the talented performers thrill and amaze audiences. This celebration will feature exhibitions of acts from the original Pawnee Bill’s Historic Wild West Show. Show cowboys and cowgirls will return this year to demonstrate their skills with reckless feats of horsemanship and entertaining races.
The museum and historic home will be open to the public during the festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food from local food trucks will be available on-site. There will be historically accurate entertainment such as blacksmithing, chuck wagon cooking, gunfighters, sharpshooters, a magician and medicine man shows held on the ranch grounds from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Pawnee Bill Original Wild West Show stagecoach will be available for photos at the arena from 4 to 6:30 p.m., along with Wild West demonstrations and games. Pre-show festivities begin inside the area at 7 p.m., with the big show beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Admission costs are $10 for adults; $8 for seniors over the age of 62; $5 for children ages 6-12; and free admission for children five and younger. Tickets are not sold in advance or online. Tickets must be purchased at the Ranch entrance gate on the day of the event. Please join us in celebrating Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show and experience some of the best of historic Western entertainment. For more information, please call 918-762-2513 or email email@example.com.
Kevin Webb will portray Pawnee Bill for the 15th time. Webb, a long-time Wild West Show cast member and Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum employee, is also a whip artist and chariot racer. Alyce Webb will portray May Lillie for the fifth time, performing her act on horseback.
The Mike Pahsetopah (Osage) family will perform as the Dancing Eagles, paying tribute to Indigenous culture with their stunning Native dancing.
The Flying Arena Stars, a sister trick-riding group from Weatherford, will entertain the crowd. They are following in the footsteps of their deeply rooted family traditions. The girls perform on a roan Quarter Horse, a Quarter Pony and a Shetland pony.
The Charro El Roble from Oklahoma City will perform an equestrian sport called escaramuza. Escaramuza charra is the only female event in Charrería. It played an important role in Pawnee Bill’s original show. The women ride side saddle and wear traditional Mexican outfits, including sombreros, dresses and matching accessories.
Windy Ratchford Lattin is a third-generation rodeo cowgirl. Lattin is known for her high-speed trick and fancy riding and Roman riding. Her horse, Panther, is a natural at dancing and loves the crowds. The pair has spent hours in the practice pen learning each trick and new maneuver.
Roper Kiesner, a fancy roper, whip artist and gunslinger, is a fifth-generation horseman. He was riding before he could walk and competing by the time he turned three. Kiesner grew up on the road, competing at rodeos and performing at Wild West Shows with his family. Since then, Roper has competed as a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association cowboy in team roping and saddle bronc riding.
It wouldn’t be a day without the songs of Cowboy Jim Garling. Cowboy Jim has been a pre-show staple on Blue Hawk Peak for many years with his cowboy songs and Western swing. Come early in the day to see him perform around the grounds. Cowboy Jim is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council.
This program is sponsored in part by Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.
This event is supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
Editor’s Note: Photos of the Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum are available upon request.