Mother’s Day weekend in May is the 68th annual ’49er Days Celebration. Winthrop will be filled with living history when packers and pack trains, cowboys, cowgirls, and an entire wagon train all converge for three days of western events and fun.
The celebration begins at high noon on Friday, May 10, in downtown Winthrop with the arrival of the “Ride to the Rendezvous” wagon train. The wagon train, sponsored by the Washington Outfitters and Guides Association (“WOGA”), spends five days traversing Methow Valley’s back country trails to reach Winthrop just in time for ’49er Days. (if you are interested in joining the five day “Ride to Rendezvous” wagon ride, more information can be found here)
Saturday, May 11th, at 11am, the Winthrop ’49er Days Parade takes center stage on main street. This parade boasts more horses than any other parade in Washington and is known for the longest pack strings anywhere. The parade also has mountain men, royalty, fire trucks, old cars, homemade floats, as well as marching bands, funny and interesting characters, and school kids. Come watch, or come be a part of the parade!!!
After the parade and all afternoon, in the Winthrop Park, join the Washington Outfitters and Guides Association for their annual packer rendezvous party. This year marks the 24th anniversary of WOGA joining the ’49er Days celebration! WOGA members set up display camps to offer folks a glimpse of outdoor life, a taste of campfire cooking, and a sample of cowboy music and poetry. They also provide outdoor activities for children and Western vendors and demonstrations.
Then Saturday evening join the Outfitters for dinner from 5-6:30pm. Join all the Outfitters in their display camp, for lots of back country style cooking. Tickets sold at the gate.
From 7-9pm is the “Around the Campfire” cowboy performance with campfire stories, cowboy poetry and songs. At 9:30pm the party moves indoors to the Winthrop Barn for more dancing and cowboy swing.
Sunday’s events include a Cowboy Breakfast from 8-10am in the Winthrop park.
From 10am-2pm is the popular Packer Competition. Come see first hand how the cowboys and cowgirls “mante-up” all of the camp gear while being timed and then pack it onto mules for a trail ride around our prearranged course with a trail judge.
Also from 10am-2pm at the Winthrop Park is the live Western Auction. Up for bid: horseback, rafting, fishing and hunting trips, art work, tack, Ride to Rendezvous Quilt and many other miscellaneous items.
The Winthrop Barn. www.winthropwashington.com