Wild West City rides into 62nd season

Opens on May 5


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  • The holdup




  • The chuck wagon




  • The cowboys




BYRAM — The "old west" is filled with amazing history, classic heroes, and stories of perseverance from America's western settlers. It all comes alive this spring in "western New Jersey" at Wild West City in Byram Township.

The iconic old-west themed park, one of only a handful in the United States, ranked number 4 nationally, is ready to open its gates for its 62nd season the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6.

Children - and adults - are invited to embrace the western flavor of the park! Pardners can wear their cowboy hats, pin on their sheriff's badge, and ride the stagecoach! For over 60 years, Wild West City has taken children and adults back in time, when the west was truly the west, with good guys, bad guys, chuck wagon food, lasso tricks, bull whip cracking, and everything in between that made up another time in our history.

Generations of families have thrilled to legends of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate, and Annie Oakley, thoroughly enjoying the exciting world of the American cowboy and history preserved at Wild West City, located near Routes 80, 46 and 206.

There's not a moment to lose at Wild West City. Not only will there be the familiar daily line-up of recreations of historic events, horse races, and other activities visitors enjoy year in and year out, but there will be a number of special events throughout the spring and summer featuring "Dress-Up Day", Native American Intertribal Dancers, a special guest appearance (TBA) by Larry Storch from F Troop, and a civil war encampment in June. There's special days for moms and dads (free admission with child), Scouts (free when wearing uniform with paid adult), and a tribute to our Armed Forces heroes (free with paid child). The Opening Season Weekend includes a special recognition of the Wild West City Territorial Rangers, a group of volunteer re-enactors who historically kept law and order in the wild west. Members of the group, who range in age from 8 to 85, strive to immerse visitors in Western folklore.

Wild West City's full special event schedule can be found on its website, www.wildwestcity.com.

Indeed, hundreds of thousands of children and their families have experienced the old west up close and personal. They watch as the Sheriff goes after the bad guys, the Pony Express delivers the mail, and the cancan girls kick up their heels. All this and more is brought to life in the heart of Northwest New Jersey. Wild West City is not just a theme park: it is a historical gem that also include artifacts and tales of another time.

Originally opened in the 1950s, Wild West City was conceived as a re-creation of 1880's Dodge City, Kansas. The city features a broad main street lined by hitching rails, wooden walkways, storefronts, and exhibits that allow one to relive the old west. The park also includes an authentic one-room school house and a chapel that has often been used as a backdrop for real-life weddings. Wild West City has also been the setting for numerous movies, music videos and television commercials for companies like Pepsi. Pepperidge Farm, Maaco, Adams Gum, Bold Laundry soap, and Zest soap.

One year an NFL Pre-Game Opener took place at Wild West City, too! Among the major acts that have shot music videos there are The Fugees, Hot Chili Peppers, Jon Bon Jovi, Clutch, Kool, Moe Dee, and Spyder. MTV has also been at Wild West City.

Wild West City really has plenty to do any day of the season, with 22 live action shows a day, including interactive skits, Living history presentations and educational displays are also part of the fabric of the “town,” as well as pony, train, and stagecoach rides, panning for gold, a barnyard zoo, and many more exciting things to do throughout the day!

The general store offers everything from cowboy and cowgirl boots, western gear for kids and adults, and just about anything you could imagine to get into the old west mix!

The theme park will be open weekends from May 5 to June 16, and daily from June 16 through labor Day Weekend, then weekends again through Columbus Day weekend.

Wild West City offers a limited program weekdays in the spring and fall for school or special group reservations. The park always welcomes school groups, campers, youth groups, religious groups, and Scouts.

Visitors are invited to bring their own food and have an old fashioned family picnic or enjoy a variety of affordable Americana style food at the Golden Nugget Saloon. For ticket prices and more information about Wild West City, visit the website at www.wildwestcity.com or phone 973-347-8900.





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