Wagon Days

Fri, Sep 2nd - Sun, Sep 4th

through Sun, Sep 4th

September 2022

Various Locations

Since 1958, the City of Ketchum has celebrated its mining history with one of the largest non-motorized parades in the west. Come spend the weekend with the whole family and watch the Big Hitch Parade on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Big Hitch Parade, featuring quality buggies, carriages, carts and stagecoaches, is one of the largest non-motorized parades in the Pacific Northwest. The grand finale, as always, is the “Big Hitch,” the historic Lewis Ore Wagons pulled by a 20-mule jerkline.

August 15 – September 4
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily – Wagon Days Headquarters, Ore Wagon Museum and Bonning Cabin

Enter the Ore Wagon Museum to explore an historical collection from Ketchum’s mining era, the town’s founding and the historic Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade. Souvenirs and commemorative memorabilia will be on sale.

Take a tour of the City of Ketchum’s iconic Ore Wagons – on display on East Avenue in front of the Ore Wagon Museum on the corner of East Ave. and 5th St. Horace Lewis began the “Ketchum Fast Freight Line” soon after the town was founded on August 2, 1880. The first load of ore was carried from the Elkhorn mine to the railroad at Kelton, Utah. These monstrous wagons with six-foot wheels known as “The Big Hitch made the round trip in about two weeks, returning to Ketchum with merchandise and freight for local businesses. In 1884, when the Oregon Shoreline Railroad reached Ketchum, the wagons distributed freight to mines and returned with ore to the Philadelphia smelter. They carried as much as 18,000 pounds of ore and covered 12 to 14 miles per day. By 1902, when rail service to Mackay and Challis was inaugurated, the need for these giant wagons diminished. Today the appearance of the wagons in Ketchum’s annual Wagon Days Parade are reminders of the vital role they played during the area’s early days.

The Bonning Cabin located adjacent to the Ore Wagon Museum was built in 1882. For years it served as a bunkhouse for the ore wagon freight crews. The one-room log cabin was built out of hand-squared logs hewn with a broad axe. The original roof was covered with clay. Today, it remains one of the town’s oldest buildings.

Friday, September 2
10:15 a.m. – Sun Valley Story Tour | Starts at Visitor Center

Visit the area’s most historic locales. Jump on the Sun Valley Story Tour bus for a one hour guided tour past historical sites such as the Horace Lewis home, mining sites, the Union Pacific Terminal, Comstock-Clark Mercantile Building, and many more.

1 to 4 p.m. – Cowboy Poetry | Ore Wagon Museum

Join Idaho Cowboy Poets as they recite their poetic tales from the land, way of life, and stories of time and people long gone. Cowboy poetry is a form that grew from a tradition of cowboys telling stories.

5:30 to 7 p.m. – Grand Marshals Reception | Town Square

Join the City of Ketchum as they honor Paula and Keith Perry, the 2022 Wagon Days Grand Marshals, for their many years of service and commitment to the community.

Followed by live music by Tylor and the Train Robbers on East Avenue

Saturday, September 3
8 a.m. to noon – Papoose Club Pancake Breakfast | Town Square

A Wagon Days tradition! Serving up an all-you-can-eat country breakfast of pancakes and sausage, all served by club members and local characters. The Papoose Club Pancake Breakfast takes place both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Activities | East Ave. & 4th St.

Bring the kiddies and enjoy a host of children’s activities, a petting zoo, and an interactive historical experience. Wagons Ho!, offers children a hands-on experience and understanding of how pioneers lived. Local food and beverages will be offered on East Ave.

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Horsemanship & Cultural Performances | Festival Meadow

The Eh-Capa Bareback Riders and Escaramuza Charra riding and performance groups exhibit their exceptional and courageous riding skills.

1 p.m. – Big Hitch Parade

Parade Route – Sun Valley Road to Main Street, and over Saddle Road
The Wagon Days parade follows Sun Valley Road, turning north on Main Street before winding up Highway 75 and Saddle Road. The centerpiece: the Big Hitch, the Lewis Ore Wagons: these large freight wagons are the original and only complete, fully functional set of their kind.  Watch them roar down the road pulled by an authentic 20-mule jerk line.

After the parade –  Wagon Days Street Party featuring 2021 American Idol winner Chayce Beckham

Making American Idol history, 25-year-old Chayce Beckham was the first contestant to ever win the competition show by performing an original song – his self-penned track “23.” Beckham is currently on tour with Jimmie Allen and joins Luke Combs on the road this fall.

Sunday, September 4
8 a.m. to noon – Papoose Club Pancake Breakfast | Town Square
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Ore Wagon Museum

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