Wyatt Earp Days – Tombstone, Arizona

Wyatt Earp Days – Tombstone, Arizona

Come to Tombstone and enjoy the adventures of the old west with Wyatt Earp Days.  This annual Memorial Day weekend celebration in “The Town Too Tough to Die” is much like stepping back in time. Men, women, and children dress in 1880s Old West styles to celebrate the life and times of the town’s most famous lawman. Enjoy a chili cook-off, stagecoach rides, a fashion show, and mock gunfights in the dusty streets. 

Wyatt Earp and his brothers along with Doc Holiday have an interesting history in Tombstone that you will hear about while you are in town.  They were the people in the Gun Fight At OK Corral in which his arch-rivals, Ike Clanton, Billy Claiborne, and other Cowboys, and the Earp’s and Doc Holiday faced off in the famous gunfight.  Although the stories of the fight have made it to the movies much of the story was just good movie making. The historical documentation of the fight shows that neither side of the fight was very good shots.  Lots of bullets flew but only a few hit home.  Tom McLaury was killed in the fight and Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury were wounded, Virgil Earp was hit in the calf, Doc was shot in the left hip, but the shot was deflected by Holliday’s leather holster, and he suffered only a bruise.  The fighting continued until Billy Clanton was shot and down.

The battle took place on October 26, 1881, between the Earps and the Cowboys.  (Cowboys was a term often capitalized in papers as a local term for a cattle dealer that often was synonymous with rustler).  The two sides faced off and began shooting with Doc Holiday being credited (justly or unjustly) as firing the first shot.

Although history has made it out to be a great fight, the end result was that the life for Wyatt in Tombstone was doomed to fall apart with all the trials, accusations, and distrust of those he needed to support him.  It didn’t happen immediately, but the Earps left Tombstone and traveled to Colorado where the story of this unique family continued.

Come to Tombstone and relive those days.  Get into the spirit of the time and wear something from the era and join the residents of the community that make this celebration so much fun.

Tombstone is approximately 70 miles Southeast of Tucson.


Kitt Peak National Observatory

Tombstone, Arizona


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