Celebrating Durango's Victorian and Old West Past
Banquet and Ball are sold out, with wait lists available. Everything else is still open for those who attend.
This event commemorates our town's colorful and diverse history, focusing on the period from the town's incorporation in 1881 until 1912. You'll find that a large number of event goers will be dressed in authentic period attire throughout the celebration. We encourage everyone to join in the fun by donning your Victorian or Old West finery for any of our events, although costuming is generally optional with exceptions noted on event pages. We greatly appreciate our guests following our historic mission in their attire at the DHC; in particular, kindly refrain from the Steampunk fantasy look. This event is open to the public. A few of the activities require advance ticket purchase, please see each activity page for details.
Be certain to bring your camera to this event. It is THE BEST for photo opportunities! Please browse some images from our 2012 event submitted by attendees in our Event Photo Gallery. If you'll be attending our event from out of town we invite you to come early or stay longer! Check out our Durango page to learn more about the many fun things to do in the beautiful Durango area.
Presenting in 2013: “Buffalo Bill Meets Queen Victoria”!
The year is 1887, just a century and a day after the United States earned its freedom from England. Yet in that year an icon of the frontier West was invited to visit Queen Victoria’s England with his Wild West Show. It probably wasn't by sheer accident that The Wild West opened in England during the Golden Jubilee, the celebration of Queen Victoria's 50 years on the throne. In progress were both the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the American Exhibition, which displayed paintings and American manufactured products with the intent of luring British investment. The American Exhibition was surely planned to coincide with the Golden Jubilee and there's little question that The Wild West was scheduled to coincide with both large events.
When The Wild West cast landed in England they immediately began rehearsals. The Prince of Wales and other dignitaries attended a performance prior to the official opening and Queen Victoria had her own private performance. The Queen ended up attending twice. One thing the Queen's appearance did was counter any criticism out there that The Wild West was anything but a first rate show.
With the Queen in attendance, a horse rider came waving the American flag at which point the Queen made a bow. It was a big first. It was the first time since the Declaration of Independence that a British sovereign saluted the star spangled banner. In part, because of the official royal acceptance of The Wild West, Buffalo Bill Cody's performances were hugely successful for years in Great Britain.
Our 2013 Celebration will utilize this historic event as a theme for both its Friday evening banquet and its Saturday Grand Victorian Ball. Picture yourself as either a Victorian English gentleman or lady or part of Buffalo Bill’s entourage when you attend both of these exciting elements of the Celebration! Please visit our Banquet and Ball pages for more details so you can make your plans early.