Spend time in the Superstition Mountains — that forboding range on the eastern skyline that’s steeped in lore of treasure hunters and horse thieves, missing persons and massacres — and the wild West doesn’t seem so long gone.
It’ll seem even closer at Apacheland Days, going on this weekend at Superstition Mountain Museum.
The 12-acre site at the base of the mountains will host a slew of entertainers, from San Carlos Apache master basket weaver Evalena Henry to acclaimed group The Yellow Bird Dancers and 2011 World Champion Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan.
Local film historian and author Charlie LeSueur will share stories of Hollywood Westerns and the actors who starred in them. Some even came through the Apacheland Barn, a hulking structure on site that was moved, piece by piece, from Arizona’s old Apacheland Movie Ranch, where dozens of Western films and TV series were shot. A chapel from the ranch, now a movie memorabilia museum showing the movies that were filmed at Apacheland, will also be open.
Native American elder and flutist John Bear will play and teach flute, and the Mohave Muleskinners Western re-enactment group will perform. Gold panning, Dutch oven cooking and blacksmithing demonstrations are on tap — and that’s all in addition to the museum, which will be open for tours.
Festivities kick off with a “Salute to Marty Robbins and Arizona’s 100th Birthday” concert 5 p.m. today at the nearby Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds, 1590 Lost Dutchman Blvd. Rollie Steven, Johnny Western, Jeanne and Jerome, and The Call Of The West Band perform. Admission to the concert is $8-$10 per person, and proceeds benefit the museum. Concert ticket stubs are good for free admission to the museum during Apacheland Days.
DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Superstition Mountain Museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction. Free admission to the grounds; entry to the museum is $5 adults, $4 seniors, $2 students age 17 and older and free for children with a paying adult. (480) 983-4888 or www.superstitionmountainmuseum.org.