The Boot Hill Museum celebrates their 70th anniversary

The Boot Hill Museum has been a major facet to the legacy of Dodge City for several years, welcoming tourists and locals to view the rich history of the town.

March 23 marked 70 years since Boot Hill Museum was established in Dodge City, and the museum held a platinum party in celebration.

“The museum has been here for 70 years, and so we kind of want to show our appreciation for the many years of support,” said Laura Tawater, marketing manager for the museum, prior to the event. “We’re also doing this so people will be aware of how long we’ve been here.”

Coincidentally, 2017 also marks the 60th season of the Long Branch Variety Show, which is featured every summer. According to Tawater, this is also a component to the celebration.

“There will be entertainment in the Long Branch Saloon, and there will probably be some talk about the (variety) show too,” said Tawater prior to the celebration. “We’ll have some can-can dancers here and some gun fighters and they’ll be doing some entertainment to kind of highlight the old variety shows.”

During the entertainment segment, some special guests were in attendance including Connie Olson Nixon, Karen May Ward and Linda West Koch, original can-can dancers from the variety show in 1958.

“We’re really highlighting the 60 seasons of the Long Branch Variety Show,” said Tawater prior to the celebration. “These ladies have been a part of that, and that’s pretty special that they’re coming here for that.”

On top of this, a few former gunfighters, one being Jacque Barngrover, also attended.

To recognize 70 years of service in the community, the platinum party featured numerous activities and contests for guests.

“We will have drawings and prizes available,” said Tawater prior to the celebration. “We have our grand prize package which is 70 Long Branch Variety Show tickets.”

A free hamburger feed was be available to the first 500 guests to attend and sasparilla was on sale for 70 cents. Guests were welcome to take photos with Miss Kitty and the Marshal, and Miss Kitty also put on a special performance.

Along with this, the winners for a coloring contest held by the museum was be announced and awarded a prize.

“We are also doing an association drive featuring challenge coins,” said Tawater prior to the celebration. “During this, we’ll be sharing rendering of the new exhibits and information about the Boot Hill expansion project.”

Tours of new and updated exhibits were offered to guests during the platinum party, one being an updated version of the ’guns that won the west’ exhibit, which will feature new displays.

The Bat Masterson watch was also on display, but it’s permanent display location is still unknown. The watch will be presented this summer with a special event.

Cookbook recipes were also collected during this celebration. All guests were also welcome to submit a recipe for the Boot Hill cookbook that can in the Boot Hill Museum gift shop.

“We’ll have entry forms for recipes and they’ll submit a recipe of their choosing,” said Tawater prior to the celebration. “They’ll also do a write-up of a connection or memory that they have of Boot Hill Museum, and that will be published along with their recipe.”

The museum will present celebrations of the 70th anniversary and the 60th year of the Variety Show throughout the summer. The Variety Show anniversary is also the theme for the annual Dodge City Days celebrate.