Photo by Sheridan Fidelman on Sunday, Feb,19. 2017 in Tombstone Arizona.
For the 32nd time last month people come from all over to learn and see what Tombstone is all about as part of Vigilantes Days.
“It’s a chance to party and have gunfights in the street” Lewis Snow, a cowboy re-enactor explains.
For others it is a more defining weekend.
John Marshall opened his restaurant , Puny John’s BQ in Tombstone last year after falling in love with the town. The family run restaurant has done well since their opening but they say its weekends like Vigilantes Days that keep them afloat.
According to Marshall his restaurant, Puny Johns BQ, gets double the business during Vigilantes Day. “Our business needs the tourism from the event to survive” Marshall says.
Over at Chuckwagon, another newly opened restaurant, the workers have to take a lot of extra time to prepare for Vigilantes Day. “The event brings in a huge needed crowd,” Chuckwagon employee Taylor Johnston says.
Vigilantes Days brings in the crowds and the merchants know they must take advantage.
“We all work together to put on the event and attract the most amount of tourism” Ben Bird the assistant chief of Vigilantes Days, says. Restaurant owners give discounts for food. Merchants give away items to be auctioned off during live events.
“We do this to promote the town and because history should never be forgotten” Bird said.
Check out the video to learn more about the 2017 Vigilantes Day.
Sheridan Fidelman is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the school of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact her at Sheridanfidelman@email.arizona.edu.