The Wild West will be galloping into downtown Jamestown in July.
The International Cody Family Association Reunion will be riding into the city Thursday, July 24, with events planned through Sunday, July 27, in downtown Jamestown. Lee Harkness, Jamestown Gateway Train Station general manager, said several reunion events will be held at the renovated Erie-Lackawanna Train Station, located at 211-217 W. Second St., Jamestown. Harkness said the association holds a reunion every two years. The association is made up of Buffalo Bill Cody's relatives.
Suzanne Cody is the president of the association. Harkness said Cody has visited Jamestown in the past. She first came to the city when a poster of one of Cody's wild west shows held in 1878 was discovered along side of a downtown building at the corner of Pine and Third streets. The 24-by-10-foot paper billboard had been pasted to an unfinished exterior wall and was sandwiched in by brick when the building was completed. The billboard, a montage of the Wild West folk hero and scenes from his show, was revealed when part of the wall fell away from the building in June 2002. The billboard was then restored during a five-year process that was finished in 2007. The poster is now on display under glass at the Reg Lenna Civic Center.
The 1878 billboard for Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show held in Jamestown. The International Cody Family Association Reunion is being planned to be held in downtown Jamestown in July.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Harkness said it is believed Buffalo Bill visited Jamestown five to seven times to perform his wild west show.
"Suzanne Cody came to Jamestown during this time," Harkness said about when the billboard was found. "She and her husband, Ron Hills, they love Jamestown. They're just blown away by the area."
Harkness said there will be wild west shows happening on the street in front of the train station, a parade and artifacts on display from the Buffalo Bill Center Of The West.
"This is another way to hit the international," Harkness said about the exposure the reunion will have for Jamestown.
Several events are still in the planning process for the reunion, Harkness said. More information will be available in the coming months.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
Other events happening at the train station includes the return of a downtown St. Patrick's Day celebration. On Saturday, March 15, the celebration is returning to Jamestown, which will be held indoors in the Jamestown Gateway Train Station. The celebration will be taking place from 1-6 p.m. inside the renovated, historic Erie-Lackawanna Train Station.
Food will be provided by Miley's Old Inn, which is located at 845 E. Second St., Jamestown. There will be a corned beef and cabbage meal, with a Guinness Irish stew. In addition, Miley's Old Inn will providing an array of beverages. Celtic entertainment will be provided by The Irish Dancers from Olean. The 96 Highlanders will be performing bagpipe music to set the stage for a true Irish celebration.
Stone Row, a high-energy Celtic Band from Buffalo, will performing, as well. The band is in pre-production of their new album that has 14 inspiring Irish songs. Stone Row band members have won Buffalo Music Awards, with Katie Panfil winning original female vocalist and Dave Schmeidler winning original guitarist.
Harkness said reservations are preferred for the event, but cash paying customers will be accepted the day of the St. Patty's celebration. Presale tickets cost $30 and tickets the day of the event will be $35. Also, people who just want to enjoy the atmosphere with no meal can pay $15. People can make reservations by emailing email@example.com or faxing reservation information to 487-1729. Questions about the event can also be sent to these contact addresses.
NATIONAL TRAIN DAY
National Train Day will be held on Saturday, May 10. Harkness said it will be an open house event at the station with several train-related exhibits on display. However, he also wants downtown organizations and businesses tied into the event. He said the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Fenton History Center and the Lucy-Desi Museum could all be locations involved in the event.
"I want to get a bus so people can be taken to Lucy-Desi or the Jackson Center," Harkness said. "We're going to have antique cars in the street, a black tie dance at the end and we're going to bring back the steam engine."
In June, the train station might host a welcoming party for the Jamestown Jammers. Harkness said plans are tentative, but they would like to host a reception for the ball players. Also, he said it would be great for local children, who could meet the players and get baseballs autographed by Jamestown Jammers.
"We want to give a real shot in the arm to the Jammers," he said.
Since the train station opened in October 2012, Harkness said the facility has hosted 76 events or groups, with more than 15,000 visitors. He said that doesn't include those who visit the train station on a daily basis.
"We have people who come here everyday just to look at the building," he said.
For more information, visit jamestowntrainstation.com.