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Thu, Oct. 21

Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber's Wild West Weekend begins Friday

Lu and John Carpino sing on Route 66 in downtown Williams. The John Carpino Band takes the stage Saturday to close out the Wild West Weekend party. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Lu and John Carpino sing on Route 66 in downtown Williams. The John Carpino Band takes the stage Saturday to close out the Wild West Weekend party. Ryan Williams/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Wild West Weekend will offer something for train buffs, rodeo fans and music lovers this weekend all centering around downtown Williams.

Musician John Carpino considers himself a Williams local. He performs regularly at Cruisers and on the Grand Canyon Railway. Carpino and his wife Lu perform with the John Carpino Band throughout rim country and will close out the event Saturday evening

The band performs a mix of classic rock, country rock, reggae, Motown and originals. Carpino has recruited some of rim country's finest musicians.

"We go from Bob Marley to Merle Haggard with a few originals," Carpino said. "We have some of northern Arizona's finest musicians playing this coming weekend."

The John Carpino Band is a family friendly group, perfect for music lovers of all ages.

"Like our website says, we have a fun, energetic sound with an emphasis on vocals and harmonies," Carpino said. "We like to harmonize."

KZBX radio will get the party started on the Plaza. The station's DJs will emcee and coordinate the music and events. The Mother Road Trio out of Flagstaff will kick things off at noon on Friday. Later that evening The Saguaro Sunset Band begins playing at 5 p.m. Led by retired U.S. Air Force Band guitarist/lead vocalist Paul Sammons, the music is a blend of old and new country and western, with some good old Rock and Roll thrown in for good measure. This five-member band will cover groups such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks.

The Williams Chamber of Commerce is putting on the Party on the Plaza beginning at noon Friday in the Visitor's Center parking lot. The gala will coincide with the Arizona Cowpuncher's Reunion Rodeo and Grand Canyon Railway's Train Day.

The party includes musical performances, dancing demonstrations, and art exhibitions. Food vendors from around northern Arizona will provide a variety of refreshments for partygoers.

The event replaces the Northern Arizona BBQ Festival.

Along with music, the party features a number of food vendors selling items such as barbecue, roasted corn, gourmet hot dogs, Italian ice, snow cones and chocolates.

Award winning Circle J Chuckwagon Outfitters out of Chino Valley will share their delicacies and relive the past with their cowboy cooking. The chuckwagon will serve meat, beans, potatoes, corn bread and peach cobbler fresh from the oven.

Raging Cajun Smoking Barbecue and Cowboy Wave Barbecue will also cook mild and traditional New Orlean's style barbecue. Lolly Gagging Weiner Wagon will provide gourmet hot dogs.

To temper the spicy barbecue samples, Extreme Mocktails will serve fruit skewer alcohol-free drinks, Lulus will feature Italian ice and sorbet, and Steampuck Chocolates will provide a variety of sweets. A wine and beer garden will be available and Barnyard Café, Kicks on Route 66, Camp Civitan and the Kiwanis Club will also be on hand with a variety of cowboy fixings to compliment the other vendors.

More information about the event is available at

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