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Village to combine events

The Frontier Village Association will hold two of its summer events, Pioneer Days and the World Fast Draw Association shootout, on the same weekend this year.

At its meeting Thursday the association unanimously approved holding the two events on the same weekend, Aug. 9-10, to see if one event would draw more people to the village.

“That would make for one big weekend, rather than two smaller ones,” said Charlie Tanata, association president.

Frontier Village hosted a World Fast Draw Association shootout Aug. 10-11 last year and held Pioneer Days the weekend before. Manager Colleen Conley said attendance at both events was OK, but could have been better.

A World Fast Draw Association shootout is an event where participants dress up like Wild West cowboys and use real guns to shoot wax bullets at paper targets. Winners are decided by how fast and accurate participants can pull their guns and shoot them.

Conley said she had talked with Frank Lawton of Rapid City, S.D., a World Fast Draw Association member who organized the Frontier Village shootout last year, about holding the event earlier this year.

“They (the fast draw organization) only had one date open this year, the same date we had last year,” she said.

In related business, the association approved submitting three grant requests to the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation Executive Board. The BCTF Executive Board will consider the requests at its Jan. 31 meeting.

The largest request is for funding Frontier Village staff from the end of April through early October. The association is asking for $40,558, up from $33,546 for 2013. Conley said the association would like to increase the pay rate of the manager and head maintenance positions from $12 an hour to $15 an hour, and the assistant manager position from $10 an hour to $12 an hour. The head greeter position would go from $9 an hour to $10 an hour.

The second grant request is for $11,700 to care for the horses used on the stagecoach ride and other animals that are used at the village during the summer. Conley said this is the same amount the association requested last year.

The third request is for $7,500 for the shootout and Pioneer Days. Last year the BCTF Executive Board approved a $5,000 grant for the shootout, but didn’t fund a $2,500 request for Pioneer Days.

Association Treasurer Wade Williams said he was concerned about the BCTF Executive Board not approving the full grant amount for staff funding.

“What do we do then?” he asked.

Tanata said the association will do what it has in the past, take the amount the BCTF provides and make it work.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454