Bannack Days brings ghost town alive

An old-fashioned traffic jam broke out during last year’s Bannack Days celebration. The event returns to Montana’s first territorial capitol this Saturday and Sunday. Dillon Tribune file photo


Each year during the third weekend in July the old ghost town of Bannack comes alive in a celebration of pioneer life. The annual Bannack Days Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday.  

Activities at the site of Montana’s first territorial capitol will begin 9 a.m. Saturday and run until 5 p.m., then from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Some of those activities include: horse and wagon rides, shootouts, gold panning, candle making, and black powder shooting. Plus, guests can enjoy cowboy poetry and old time music.

Visitors can also check out a mountain men camp, Doc Hall’s Medicine show, the Great Debate on women’s suffrage, and a 1800s U. S. Cavalry camp. There is something for everyone, along with plenty of food and drink.

The stagecoach from Virginia City will be arriving at 1 p.m. on Sunday.  Rumor has it that Governor Edgerton and other dignitaries will be aboard along with a big gold shipment. Road Agent activity has been noted recently along the Bannack to Virginia City road. The Vigilantes have issued notice that anyone caught engaging in criminal activity will be the guest of honor at a necktie party.  Sunday is a great day to visit as the crowds are smaller and we offer old time church services, blacksmithing and the stage holdup on Sunday only.

Many visitors like to dress in period costumes to get into the spirit of things.  Costumes are available to rent at Bannack for that true old west feeling.

State park officials ask guests to carpool if possible, as parking is limited. There is a special event fee of $5 per car load to help cover the cost of this event. This fee will apply to resident and non-resident vehicles.  Bannack State Park asks that you please do not bring pets to this busy event.