Winterset, Iowa: Legions of John Wayne fans from throughout the United States and Europe will be gathering at Duke’s Iowa birthplace this spring for Winterset’s annual John Wayne Birthday Celebration. This year’s event salutes the epic films best known as director John Ford’s Cavalry Trilogy: Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande. For many, these stirring motion pictures represent John Wayne at his finest, a battle hardened leader of fighting men on America’s early western frontier.
Offering big screen presentations of these classic movies, the event will also feature an encampment of 19th century cavalrymen under the command of noted living historian Steve Alexander as Gen. George Armstrong Custer. Other attractions will include stagecoach rides, military brass band concerts, an old fashioned firemen’s breakfast (Saturday, May 28th) and many more activities to be announced.
A highlight of the weekend will be a fundraising dinner to benefit the planned John Wayne Birthplace Museum on Friday, May 27th. In addition to a cavalry-style meal and vintage military music performed by Capt. Brittles’ Brilliant Brass Band, guests will enjoy a lively auction of John Wayne and cavalry memorabilia hosted by the actor’s daughter, Aissa Wayne. Also on hand will be special guest of honor Claude Jarman, Jr. who received an Academy Award for his role as young Jody Baxter in The Yearling (1946) and later played John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s son, trooper Jefferson Yorke, in Rio Grande. (The first 500 to reserve the dinner will receive a DVD copy of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon compliments of Warner Bros. Home Video.)
Reservations are required for the dinner ($100 per person). Movies, concerts and cavalry encampment are free.
For more information, including lodging, contact the John Wayne Birthplace at 515-462-1044 or visit the website at www.johnwaynebirthplace.org/birthday