The Buffalo Bill Museum celebrates Buffalo Bill’s 167th birthday on Sunday, February 24, with a special tribute to the American Indians who performed in his show. Formerly enemies, Buffalo Bill and the Indians became allies after the conflicts ended in the West. Buffalo Bill advocated for their rights and gave them equal employment opportunities. In turn the Lakota and members of other tribes performed in his Wild West, giving it an authenticity unmatched in the United States. Indian dancing, the painting and raising of a tepee, visits by best-selling author Margaret Coel and musical performers Susie Knight and Rex Rideout, and the opening of a special exhibit on the show Indians will be featured. Of course there will be free cake and ice cream, costumed re-enactors, and buffalo chip throwing. These activities and museum admission will be FREE during this celebration from noon to 4:00 pm on February 24.
The Buffalo Bill Birthday celebration will include the opening of “Oskate Wicasa,” a special exhibit about the Indians who performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. The exhibit will include a very rare collection of hand-colored photographs from 1901 plus posters, artifacts, and other materials associated with such show Indians as Short Bull, a leader of the Ghost Dance.
Best-selling and award-winning mystery writer Margaret Coel will be a featured guest of the event. She will talk about her latest novel Buffalo Bill’s Dead Now, which revolves around Chief Black Heart, an Arapaho performer with the Wild West. Other featured guests will be dancers from the Denver March Pow Wow.
A special hands-on experience will be the chance to paint and raise the museum’s new tepee. Martin Knife Chief and his wife Gale will direct the painting of the tepee with traditional Lakota symbols and oversee its raising.
As is done every year, everyone gathered for the event will sing “Happy Birthday” to Buffalo Bill at noon. The Western Music Association’s Female Poet of the Year and songstress Susie Knight will be joined by Rex Rideout, musical star of the movie “Cowboys and Aliens,” in leading the singing. Free cake and ice cream will be distributed afterwards as Knight and Rideout provide further musical entertainment. Other activities that have become traditions at this celebration will include buffalo chip throwing and the opportunity to pose for pictures with the Buffalo Bill look-a-likes and other costumed re-enactors who attend the occasion.
This action-packed Buffalo Bill Birthday celebration will last from noon until 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 24. All the activities, the cake and ice cream, and museum admission will be FREE on that day. For further information, call 303-526-0744 or visit www.buffalobill.org.