Guns and Garters
Press Reports

The part about us'ns be red. 
Red like yer blood if'n you don't read what they said about us.


Article in The Mirror (Nye County Paper) 5/5/16
Newspaper article

Press Enterprise
  Article appeared 11/2/08

SAN BERNARDINO - Saturday's annual Harvest Fair was one of the few locations in San Bernardino free of political yard signs now dotting the Inland Empire.  Instead, fairgoers and re-enactors intermingled amid 1880s-era facades -- jails, bars and banks -- that could have been stage props for a Hollywood western. Cowboys and saloon dancers were everywhere. Two ladies twirling umbrellas and strolling side by side, Renae Marticorena, 44, of Grand Terrace, and Lisa Taylor, 51, of Orange, briefly dropped their accents so they could educate the public. "The kids come out and say, 'cowboys and Indians,' " Taylor said. "But it's leaving out the history." The pair said their detailed costumes are homemade and they research their characters. They said they also participate in skits. "This is our Halloween," Articorena said. "Outside of being interviewed, we stay in character." Crowds grew steadily throughout Saturday as gunfire punctuated country music and historical talks emanating from three stages. People relaxing on hay bales enjoyed a clear view of the San Bernardino Mountains.

Jay Eastin, 49, a Riverside resident, dressed as an Old-West sheriff, said Saturday was the 10th year his "Guns and Garters" group participated in the Harvest Fair. "It's not difficult walking in spurs," he said. "What gets difficult is walking up and down stairs."

Ken Joswiak, who has organized the fair in all of its 28 years, said the event evolved steadily until 1992, when the western-themed event took off. "We had a cardboard jail," he said. "We used to have to beg Old-West groups to come out and perform. Now, they're calling us." Joswiak, standing next to a wooden and sturdy western "jail," said the four-day event, which continues into next week, usually draws about 8,000 visitors.

San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris could be easily spotted despite his period costume that included a cowboy hat and fake mustache. His wife, Sally, 69, was busy nearby pushing a stroller and shepherding three grandchildren. "We can't get lost. We're right here exploring old western life," she said. "It's a way to take them out of their parents' hair for a day."


September 18-21, 2008
Big Bear Lake, CA… The Big Bear Cowboy Gathering is proud to announce that Cowboy icon RED STEAGALL is coming Saturday night September 20th to the beautiful Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center! This 9th annual Gathering will also feature DAN ROBERTS, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, on Friday, September 19th. Both stars will be joined by a long list of terrific performers and cowboy poets, with live Cowboy music and poetry throughout the weekend.

Red Steagall’s music and poetry career spans 35 years and the entire world, having performed at the White House and on three overseas tours. He is a world renowned songwriter, recording artist, entertainer, radio, television and motion picture personality. He wrote countless western lifestyle songs and poetry books, and hosts the syndicated radio program “Cowboy Corner” that plays on 170 stations across America.

The headliner for Friday’s “official” opening evening is songwriter and entertainer Dan Roberts. Dan spent 18 years in Nashville writing songs, including some for country superstar Garth Brooks. When he teamed up with Brooks and Bryan Kennedy to write the #1 smash "The Beaches of Cheyenne", Roberts was off and running. He performed as Garth Brooks’ opening act longer than anyone else in Brooks’ touring career. His talents have won him many awards including 2001 Male Vocal of the Year and 2002 Entertainer of the Year from the Academy of Western Artists and three Grammy nominations, and the 2004 Terry Awards Entertainer of the Year. Also performing on Friday will be the nationally recognized and award-winning western poet Yvonne Hollenbeck, singer Nancy Lee, and cowboy poet Gary Robertson. Dave Bourne, featured on the hit HBO series “Deadwood,” to start each performance with his entertaining saloon piano music.

In addition to the Friday and Saturday night shows, there will be two days of an Outdoor Mercantile and entertainment on the grounds of Big Bear Lake’s City Hall. Admission to the daytime festivities is FREE. The lively characters from Pistols and Petticoats will keep everyone laughing with their skits. (We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.)  There will be a stage coach rides and purveyors of fine things Western to tempt you with their wares. Children’s activities include rope tying and pony rides to a petting zoo and a bounce house. Beverages & food will be available.


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LAKE ELSINORE: Frontier Days returns to Lake Elsinore
By JOHN HALL - Staff Writer | Saturday, April 26, 2008 6:39 PM PDT
LAKE ELSINORE ---- There are all the things you'd expect at a community fair.

There's interesting food choices such as funnel cakes, kettle corn and large smoked turkey legs. There's also a small midway with rides for the kids as well as those a bit older and braver. Booths for vendors peddling their wares included pirate-related items and even one advertising 12-shot repeating rubber band shooters.

But Lake Elsinore Frontier Days, which started Friday night and ends at 7 p.m. Sunday, has more than that: history.

Organizers and local historians like Ruth Atkins, president of the Lake Elsinore Historical Society, hope this will be a rebirth of the annual event that dates back decades but had disappeared for several years.

"This is something that never should have been stopped. This is a great event," Atkins said from under a canopy on a hot Saturday morning as Frontier Days visitors passed by.

Frontier Days continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Alberhill Ranch Park, along Lake Street, about two miles west of Interstate 15.

"As the town has grown, I think people no longer really know just how much history we have here in Lake Elsinore and throughout Southwest Riverside County," she said.

"That's the stuff with which we are made," Atkins continued. "There is a real substance to the history here, it's not just a fly-by-night thing.

"People should realize there is a lot more here than just nice housing and some of the recreational activities available to them," she said.

At future Frontier Days, Atkins hopes the Historical Society will be more involved and help educate those who come to the event about the area's deep history.

Frontier Days is an event which dates back to at least the 1970s and was, for many years, held at the old rodeo grounds on Franklin Street. In the late 1980s, the event included a rodeo and moved to Temecula in 1990 where it continued for a few years.

This year was the right time to bring it back, Atkins and others said, because 2008 marks the 120-year anniversary of Lake Elsinore's incorporation as a city.

Recent Lake Elsinore residents Terry and Kim Newberry said knowing about that anniversary was one of the reasons they came to Frontier Days on Saturday. Their 15-year-old daughter, Courtney, had another reason: boys.

"She said she thought there'd be cute guys here," Terry Newberry said, much to the dismay of his embarrassed daughter. Courtney finally admitted her dad was right and even said she'd spotted three in just a short time at the event.

Those making their way to Frontier Days not only can partake in the unique fair-like fare, but also listen to live entertainment and watch Old West gunfighter skits performed by a group called Pistols and Petticoats.

Now that's something that brings back the Wild West history of the area's early days.

Greg Davis, 52, of Quail Valley is one of the gunslingers and goes by the name "Calico Charlie." He's been performing gunfighter shows for nearly 15 years, starting at Calico Ghost Town in the High Desert.

Pistols and Petticoats, which has about a dozen members, travels throughout California and out-of-state to perform, he said.
(We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.)
"We dress in authentic period clothing," Davis said. "These aren't costumes." Performers must have a good understanding of their character and rotate between being a "bad guy or a lawman," he said.

Bill Kinsey, 51, of Colton, appropriately portrays none other than Buffalo Bill. Kinsey said he is often mistaken for Wild Bill Hickok, but quickly reminds those who make that error that, while the two were friends in the Old West, he's Buffalo Bill.

"I read a lot of books about Buffalo Bill and try to get as much knowledge as I can about him," Kinsey said. "I always try to put more and more into my character."

Having performed for more than 13 years, Kinsey said he continues to get a kick out of helping the audience see some history while also being entertained.

"We do a lot of comedy in our skits and I think the audience really enjoys that," he said.

Admission and parking at Frontier Days is free.

Contact staff writer John Hall at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2628, or

Frontier Days once again took place in Lake Elsinore as gunfighters filled the stage at Alberhill Ranch Park Saturday.
Members of Pistols and Petticoats in Riverside performed for the audience every two hours. (We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.) Photo by Steve Thornton - Staff Photographer

If you go
  • What: Lake Elsinore Frontier Days
  • When: From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Alberhill Ranch Park on Lake Street, about two miles west of Interstate 15
  • Cost: Admission and parking are free, tickets must be purchased for rides.
Audience holding ears
The gunfire from Saturday's gunfights at the Frontier Days proved a little too loud for some of the audience members. Photo by Steve Thornton - Staff Photographer


Valley News
Frontier Days:
What’s fair for all – is fair time in the community

by C. J. Stewart  Special to the Valley News
Friday, May 2nd, 2008  Issue 18, Volume 8

Last Saturday evening I visited the revival of the Lake Elsinore Frontier Days carnival put on by the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce at the new Alberhill Ranch Park (off Lake Street) and I had a blast.

This may be a stretch from the usual column but there were moving parts.

Celebrating Lake Elsinore’s 120th year of cityhood, there were carnival games, rides, corn dogs, smoothies, friendly vendors, music, a western gun show put on by Pistols and Petticoats and tours of the Sheriff’s Department’s motorbikes and Station 85’s fire truck. (We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.)

How did this all appear to just happen?

Kim Joseph Cousins, president of the chamber, explained, “I grew up in Buena Park. I remember as a kid enjoying the annual Silverado Days, which, by the way, is still a very strong and well-known annual event in that city.

“We want to continue celebrating our city’s history and provide a traditional family fun carnival on the grass for the kiddies to remember. I truly believe we have achieved laying the groundwork for future carnivals in the park, ’cause Saturday night we had 7,000 people here.”

City Councilman Bob Magee is optimistic about the future of Lake Elsinore’s Frontier Days: “I had fun. I would like to see this grow in popularity and continue to gain community participation.

“It would be great if our local volunteer organizations could participate next year to keep our growing community informed about services and opportunities from service groups such as the Trauma Intervention Advisory Committee, Historical Society, Animal Friends of the Valley, the Women’s Club, HOPE, et cetera.

“This would be a perfect venue for the public to know what other events and services they are contributing to in our city throughout the year.”

Frontier Days event promoter Tony Trafton of Temecula owns Trafton Company. You may be very familiar with his company.

Trafton operates the food stands at other well-known events such as the LA County Fair, Orange County Fair, San Diego County Fair and the Farmer’s Fair at the Perris State Fairgrounds.


Trafton’s father was the fair manager for many years at the Pomona Fairplex. “I got started in the family business when I was 8 years old back in 1966,” said Trafton. “My grandfather owned the Long Beach Pike.

“We also have produced the Murrieta Block Party for three years in a row now with a yearly attendance of 25,000 each time.

“I’ve been in this business all my life and I consider [the block party’s attendance] to be a positive reflection on what the community is wanting.”

Ruth Adkins of the Lake Elsinore Historical Society told me in a telephone interview that Frontier Days was connected with the old rodeo that used to be held off of Franklin Street and Avenue 6.

“I have this vest that once belonged to a lady of significant history in our city, Delores Mayhall [now deceased],” Adkins said. “It has patches all over it representing our chamber, Frontier Days, boots and cowboy hats, an Indian on a horse, sailboats, the gazebo in the park and a baseball diamond.”

I asked Adkins to look for a date. “Oh, it’s written in pen on the back of the vest: May 28, 1994. I guess that may have been the last Frontier Day ’til now.

“[Mayhall] was dearly connected with the old Frontier Days and the old rodeo. We should continue to ask around about the old rodeo and if anyone has posters.”

“Revising this event is part of our history,” Adkins continued. “As our community grows and matures we should nurture the continued contributions for the future of our families.

“How many kids know what it is like to climb on straw bales and wander around without their parents getting nervous? You don’t see that very much these days.”

Lake Elsinore Mayor Darrel Hickman’s eyes twinkled when he recounted his visit to Frontier Days: “I had a turkey leg, a Polish sausage and, for the first time, I had a deep-fried Twinkie. I had a very enjoyable time.

“My wife Amy had to go down the big slide. She is still a big kid at heart. I enjoyed a cold beer with the folks from the chamber in their beer garden, and the music was just excellent.”


Desert Dispatch
December 29, 2007 Front Pagetd>
Photo and caption


Daily Press
December 29, 2007 Page B1
Photo and caption


Advertising poster
A portion of Big Bear Village, at the corner of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive, will transform into a bona fide turn-of-the-century country fair on Saturday, August 6, 2005 from 12 noon to 10:30 p.m. The inaugural Big Bear Country Fair is intended for a "root 'n' toot" good time for all ages to enjoy. Families now have a fun way to spend the day before Big Bear's historic 19th-century heritage Old Miners Days Parade, scheduled for Sunday, August 7. Admission to Big Bear Country Fair is free.

The day's festivities are jam-packed with live entertainment to suit all ages. Highlights include Wild West re-enactments performed by nationally ranked Pistols-n-Petticoats. (We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.) Bear Valley Dandies, a strolling barbershop quartet, sing jolly-good standards along the village streets. The Armstrong Family Civil War re-enactors amuse festival goers with their interpretation of a Civil War encampment. DJs spin the latest in dance, rock and pop as well as country-western and golden oldies. Belleville Symphonie, Big Bear's favorite bluegrass band, takes the audience on a banjo pickin' and guitar strummin' journey. Rounding off the entertainment is Skeleton Key (country, folk and blues) at Stillwells Restaurant and Lounge Deck and Fantasea (Top 40) performs at Boo Bear's Restaurant's garden stage.

There are an ample amount of children's activities, including two bounce houses, face painting & balloons, a climbing wall, petting zoo and fun games like "The Prize Wheel." Big Bear's Dance Cottage's "munchkins" perform four or five routines such as can-cans and country-style tap dances.

To complement the all-day music and entertainment is shopping at quaint boutiques and dining at charming restaurants in the Big Bear Village. Also check out the fine craftsmanship of local vendors with one-of-a-kind hand crafted items.
In the evening, from 7:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., the "Street Dance" will feature two live country bands, The Riders of the Purple Sage and The Cody Bryant Band! These "toe-tappin" bands are sure to get the audience on their feet. All performances take place at the corner of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive and admission is free.
Association logo Big Bear Lake Resort Association Press Releases


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Sunday, September 29, 2002

Thousands Flock to Hesperia for Annual Parade and Picnic

By KIMBERLY CORBETT and GARY GEORGE/Special to the Press Dispatch

HESPERIA — Gusty, cool winds may have chilled those attending the Hesperia Days Parade on Saturday morning, but the weather did not chill their enthusiasm for the annual event feting the city and its heritage.

With Main Street festooned in red, white and blue, thousands of local residents came out to view parade floats, marching bands, equestrian units and ROTC color guards.

Old West gun show reenactments by Pistols-N-Petticoats, inline skaters from the Power Play Center and even a baboon from Cinema Safari Zoo were among the crowd favorites. (We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.) Sirens screamed and trumpets sounded as each participant claimed their moment in the spotlight during the parade, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Hesperia.

Attendance at Hesperia Days was down slightly from last year, probably because the wind wore down those watching the parade.

Around noon, event-goers traveled to nearby Hesperia Lake Park to enjoy a civic picnic featuring the sounds of a popular local band, Desert Star, who had the crowd clapping along to an energetic country beat.

Event sponsors filled the park with food and game vendors.

At the "What's Your Speed?" pitching challenge game, members of the crowd were given a chance to test their throwing arms.

Bill Johnson's 16-year-old son, Matthew, held the record at 82 miles per hour for the duration of the afternoon.

"He'll be back later to see if anyone beat him," quipped Johnson.

Ducks and geese who call the park home got in their exercise by being chased into the water by curious small children. Many in the crowd enjoyed feeding the fowl popcorn and other treats.

Some folks took a closer look at some of the world's exotic animals as Cinema Safari Zoo volunteers showcased stars like the friendly nine-foot red-tailed boa constrictor, "Mr. Snake," and a rescued barn owl named "Owlbert."

"We come out here every year," said volunteer Debbie Peterson. "We like to educate people on the animals."

For the kids, there were more than a dozen carnival rides at the park.

Bill Valentine, of Hesperia, watched as the "Gravitron" delighted his children, Nick and Kyrstyn inside.

"They're pressed against the walls," Valentine noted.

Some proceeds from the events went to support the city's efforts to build a municipal library, officials said.

Kimberly Corbett is a Daily Press intern. Gary George is a Daily Press staff writer. He can be reached at


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Monday, September 23, 2002

Big Crowd Takes Happy Trails
Estimated 3,000 people attend Apple Valley's Round-Up festivities

MIRA KATZ/Staff Writer

The smell of kettle corn, hot dogs and cotton candy permeated the air at the Happy Trails Round-Up at Lion's Park on Sunday.

Story PhotoScott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer

Emily Marcus, 5, rides a pony from Patty's Ponies.

Sunday's carnival culminated a two-day-long celebration put on by the town of Apple Valley, which drew an estimated 3,000 people, said Kathie Martin, town spokeswoman.

"I think this year was even more successful than last," Martin said.

Saturday's crowd was the largest of the four-day event, she said.

The day began with a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at Mollie's Kountry Kitchen followed by a 5K walk and a 10K run starting at the town's community center.

The annual parade followed, stepping off on Highway 18 between Central and Pawnee roads. The route was lined with local residents waving and cheering those riding on floats.

Groomingdales, a local pet grooming business, came away with the best commercial float award, and the western re-enactment group "Pistols-n-Petticoats" won best novelty entry, Martin said. (We used to be part of the Pistols and Petticoats group before we became Guns and Garters.)

At 6 p.m., the town marshal winner was announced as the closest race in the event's history, Martin said. Town Fire Chief Doug Qualls beat Connie Vargas by $10.50, to win the honorary title. Vargas, who raised $3,050 was named deputy town marshal.

"They both supported each other," Martin said. "Their charities are the real winners."

The many vendors at the event provided shade, shopping opportunities and conversation for the carnival-goers.

Bob Love, a longtime Apple Valley resident, operated a gifts and collectibles booth at this year's event.

"This year is definitely better than last year," said Love of his sales and the size of the crowd. "But it has been really hot the past two days."

The free parking and admission allowed many families to go out and have a fun day without having to spend a lot of money.

Donna Stoneman of Victorville said she brings her children to all the fairs and carnivals for all the cities. Her only complaint was that it was too hot to be out in the sun all day.

"It is really nice that (admission) and parking was free," Stoneman said. "It allowed all of us to come out and have fun without it costing too much."Despite the weather, fun was still the order of the day on Sunday.

"The heat and the spinning rides made me sick," said Sarah Rogers, 12. "But we are all still having fun."

Rogers was there with her friends Amanda Stoneman, 11, Courtney Stoneman, 13, Tiffany Thomas, 13, and her mother, Tracey Wain.

"We tried to make sure there was something to do for all ages," Martin said. "My favorite thing this year is the root beer garden. Children can come over, get free root beer, play games, and do arts and crafts."

Mira Katz can be reached at or 951-6233.

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