May 12-14, 2023
Celebrating its 78th year, Winthrop Washington’s ’49er Days is a Western heritage celebration of our rich western and horse history. The event starts with the annual Ride the Rendezvous, a week-long horse-packing excursion through the Methow Valley high country, which ends Mother’s Day weekend. (Contact woga.org to join in this event) As the horse train enters Winthrop on the final day, the community comes out to celebrate its arrival back home.
On Saturday, Winthrop celebrates its rich Western history with a grand parade including the largest representation by horses of any parade in Washington State. Saturday is full of activities for the kids, the cowboys, and the cowgirls. Learn more about the history of the event here.
On Sunday, the cowboys help you celebrate Mother’s Day with more events and activities. All the events are open to the public. Don’t miss this historic celebration!
’49er Days Schedule of Events:
Thursday, May 11
- 6 pm Join the pack string along the Ride to Rendezvous for a cowboy dinner and camp fire $25 per person. Contact WOGA for more information on the location.
Friday, May 12
- At high noon on Friday, May 12th, the annual Ride to Rendezvous wagon train arrives in downtown Winthrop. Come and watch the horses and wagons ride through town after spending five days on Methow Valley’s backcountry trails. Sponsored by Washington Outfitters and Guides Association (WOGA), the arrival of the horses and wagon trains mark the beginning of Winthrop’s Old West celebration.
- Look for Grand Lady & Marshal Judy Burkhart and Aaron Burkhart.
Junior Royalty features Queen Rio Bourn Lott and Princess Zoe Kaltenbach.
Saturday, May 13
Activities in Downtown Winthrop: Please park your cars at the Winthrop Barn Auditorium or along Castle Ave.
The Shafer Museum will be open all day.
- 10:30 am: West Coast Country Heat Street Dancers perform for the 25th annual presentation in the middle of Riverside Ave.
- 11:00 am: The ’49er Days Parade begins through the main street with more pack strings than any parade in the state, plenty of horses, floats, a band, old-time vehicles, and much more. It is free to join and view the parade!
- Following the parade, from 12:00 noon to 2:00, kids can join in old-fashioned games in front of Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe at no cost.
- Line up early to get a chance to ride the mechanical bull!
Activities in the Mack Lloyd Park from noon on:
- Beginning at noon in Mack Lloyd Park, The Winthrop Kiwanis will offer barbecue pulled pork sandwiches until 2:00 p.m. or until they sell out for $10 per meal. $1 for water, drinks, and chips. Proceeds benefit the Winthrop Kiwanis.
- Noon – 6 PM WOGA members will gather for visiting, festive old-time music, stories, and untold other adventures. Friends and families can stroll through the park all afternoon, visit the displays and booths, and taste Dutch oven cooking. An open mic will be at the Mack Lloyd Park band shell- Cowboy songs and poetry.
- 5:00 pm-6:30 pm: Outfitter Dinner hosted by WOGA in Mack Lloyd Park, steak, BBQ, and Dutch oven fixings, cost $25.
- 6 PM Line Dancing Lessons available.
- 7:00 pm Family Barn Dance hosted by the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce at the Winthrop Barn Auditorium featuring “The Wild Turkeys.” This will be a lively, family-friendly, hootin’ hollering time! Admission is $10 cash or check at the door. Ages 12 and under are free.
Sunday, May 14
In Mack Lloyd Park
- 8:00 am -10:00 am: Mother’s Day cowboy breakfast in Mack Lloyd Park, cost $10, hosted by Washington Outfitters and Guides Association
- 10 am Packing demonstrations and
49er Days Announcements:
Please visit the Washington Outfitters & Guides Association website for more details on the Ride the Rendezvous and the history of this fine organization. Vendors should also contact WOGA.
Presented by: Winthrop Chamber of Commerce and Washington Outfitters and Guides Associations
Thank you to our 2023 sponsors!
Sun Mountain Lodge, Pardners Mini Market, East 20 Pizza, VIP Cascades Insurance Agency, Winthrop Ace Hardware, Methow Valley Thriftway, Three Fingered Jacks, Timberline Teeshirts, Bear Creek Golf Course, Farmers State Bank, Shotgun Nellies, Washington Outfitters and Guides Association, and the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce.