Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weekend adventure: Old Lincoln Days and the Last Escape of Billy the Kid

Over the weekend, I decided to escape the low desert heat and drive up to the mountains to Lincoln, NM. The small town of Lincoln held a festival celebrating it's history called "Old Lincoln Days." If you are unfamiliar with Lincoln, NM and its place in US History, I'll fill you in. Lincoln was the hangout of the infamous western outlaw, Billy the Kid. Read more about him HERE.

The town itself is one of the most well preserved old west towns and the whole town was made a National Monument in 1960. Because of this designation, the 50 or so residents have preserved the original buildings just as they were in the 1870s. So, it is a really neat place to visit just to see the old architecture.

The "Old Lincoln Days" Festival itself was fun! Like most street festivals, there is plenty of fair food and entertainment, but there are a few things that made the Lincoln festival unique. Many people dress in period costumes and there are many dressed street performers in character. I wandered by a Civil War era Union battalion, an old west sheriff and his wife out for a stroll, and a old time drunkard giving a performance on the benefits of brewing moonshine whiskey. There are also many men in cowboy costume that will occasionally break out into mock gunfights in the main street. You can find out more about the festival HERE.

I especially liked the small rural town mentality. I noticed that many of the surrounding farmers and ranchers brought their families into town to enjoy the festivities, not by car, but by horse! So, there were just as many horses as cars in town.

The festivities culminate at the end of the day in a re-enactment of the last escape of Billy the Kid from authorities, the night before he was scheduled to hang.

Overall, I really enjoyed the festival. What adventures did you have during your weekend?

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