SINCLAIRVILLE - Though Bill Frost stopped doing regular Wild West shows at his Old West Town at the close of the 2010 season, he wasn't ready to hang his hat up forever quite yet.
''It's in the blood, and you can't just say, 'The heck with it,'' said Frost, 81.
The ''cowboy born in the East'' has recently begun hosting open music jams for country, bluegrass and gospel performers on Thursday afternoons. One of those performers, Forestville's Hank Elling, is a transplant to the area from the cowboy lands of Oklahoma who has become a good friend.
Hank Elling, seen here during this spring’s ‘Chautauqua’s Got Talent’ competition, will perform during the Wild West Weekend shows at Wild Bill’s Old West Town on July 16 and 17 in Sinclairville.
P-J file photo by Dave Emke
''I guess he heard about this Wild West Town and wanted to see what the heck was going on,'' Frost said of how the two first met. Elling began singing at Frost's Wild West shows soon after.
Elling was recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease - and has been raising money for scientific research for the disease through the sale of his albums. Frost knew of a way he could help his friend raise money and have some fun at the same time - put on one more Wild West show.
A ''Wild West Weekend'' will be held at the Old West Town at 39 Prospect St. in Sinclairville on July 16 and 17, with shows scheduled from 2:30 to 6 p.m. each day. Proceeds raised by the shows will benefit ALS research.
Each show will feature a half-hour performance of cowboy songs by Elling; exhibitions of the Western Arts including quick-drawing, gun-spinning, rope-spinning and whip-cracking; and a comedy show with skits involving a whole cast of Western characters coming in and out of the town's saloon, jail, mercantile and bank.
Following the show at the Old West Town, the Stagecoach Outriders will take over by hosting a mounted cowboy and cowgirl balloon-shooting competition in the Frosts' arena. Anyone interested in entering will pay a $10 entry fee and be eligible to win prizes including a $100 gift certificate to Bill's Gun and Saddle Shop and savings bonds donated by Cattaraugus County Bank in Randolph.
Frost introduced mounted shooting competitions to New York state about 15 years ago, he said, and they have since become much more popular around the country.
''I'm glad to see it,'' he said of the event's growth. ''I thought it would just be a fad that would fizz out, but this thing has exploded.''
Refreshments will be available each day courtesy of Jamestown Boy Scouts Troop 162, and authentic stagecoach rides will be available on Sunday.
''When I put on shows here, it's about what the people like,'' Frost said of his Wild West events. ''(But) you've gotta catch it these two days.''
Admission to each show will be $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12. For more information, call Bill or Lucile Frost at 962-5168 or visit www.myspace.com/wildbunchshow.
Other area happenings:
What: Bemus Point-Stow Ferry Bicentennial Dedication: Ferry Rides
When: 1 to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: between the narrows, Stow
Cost: wooden nickels distributed around the area are good for free ferry rides
"A Ferry Tale" by Art Thomas, a history of the ferry, will be sold all weekend. The ferry is an official Chautauqua County bicentennial Passport to History stamping station. For more info, visit www.sealionprojectltd.com.
* 11.8 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Movies on the Floating Stage: The Proposal
When: 8:30 p.m. today
Where: Floating Stage, Bemus Point
All movies are viewable from both sides of the Floating Stage. Sound is broadcast on 104.9 FM. For more info, call 386-7000.
* 10.9 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Opera Improv Trunk: an interactive and musical event
When: 5 and 7 p.m. today
Where: Smith Wilkes stage, Chautauqua Institution
This performance is part of the educational programming of the Pittsburgh Opera and is sponsored by the Chautauqua Opera Guild.
* 17.1 miles from downtown Jamestown.