‘Catch the Kid’ at Fort Stanton Live!, Old Lincoln Days

The New Mexico Tourism Department’s “Catch the Kid” summer travel promotion heads to where Billy the Kid’s legend began, when it joins the festivities at this weekend’s Old Lincoln Days August 5-7 and Fort Stanton Live! August 6-7.

The historic town of Lincoln – home to one of 10 clues that will give your honorary sheriff “posse” a shot at the $10,000 reward for capturing Billy the Kid – features more than a dozen buildings that witnessed much of the Lincoln County War (1878-1881): the Tunstall Store, behind which the Kid and his pals ambushed and killed the Lincoln County Sheriff and his Deputy in April, 1878; the site of the 12-room McSween House (its torching climaxed the five-day siege and ended the war); and the Lincoln County Court House, where the Kid killed Deputy James W. Bell in order to escape on April 28, 1881. Behind the adjacent San Juan Church, in a private home, the Kid secretly met and sought a pardon from New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace on the night of March 17, 1879.

“Lincoln County is much more than a reminder of days gone by,” said Monique Jacobson, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “It is a big part of who we are today, and these celebrations pay tribute to our Western heritage and our future. When you think Lincoln County, you think Billy the Kid. This is the perfect weekend for everyone to join in the fun.”

Activities and events include food concessions, arts and crafts, fiddlers contest, Mescalero Apache Cultural Arts Dancers, a parade August 7, 11 a.m., and three performances of  “The Last Escape of Billy the Kid” at the Pageant Grounds.

Just up the road at Fort Stanton – a Southern New Mexico landmark since the days of Billy the Kid, Kit Carson and the Buffalo Soldiers – Fort Stanton Live! will feature costumed re-enactors from the Civil War and Indian Wars era, demonstrations, presentations, a candlelight tour, a concert and a military ball. Authors, historians, photographers, artists, and a variety of historical vendors will share their knowledge and their craft; and local food vendors will provide sustenance for your day at the Fort.

Lincoln and Fort Stanton are located on the Billy the Kid National http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/cialis_generic.html Scenic Byway, an 84-mile journey though the Old West’s epic conflicts, mountain scenery, sports and recreational opportunities, culture, and some of New Mexico’s most intriguing communities. On your way to or from Lincoln, be sure to visit Ruidoso, Capitan, Fort Stanton, White Oaks and San Patricio, where artist Peter Hurd and his family called home. If you’re looking for non-Billy stuff, check out Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Site, Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, horse racing at Ruidoso Downs, Alto’s Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, and table games, golf and a thousand other fun things at Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero

To further enhance the “Catch the Kid” promotion, the Tourism Department has worked with clue location com-munities to bring the promotion to life with events in their communities. They will have Western themes and take place each weekend of the promotion. All the times and festival information is on the website. Festivals are free to the public. The upcoming schedule includes Outlaw Day in Aztec Aug. 13; Hot Chili Days/Cool Summer Nights in Red River Aug. 20; Salsa Fest in Las Cruces and Old Mesilla Aug. 27; Regulator Roundup in Carlsbad Sept. 3; Wild West Day in Gallup Sept. 10; and Old West Day in Silver City Sept. 17.

“We are turning the whole state into a real life video game,” Sec. Jacobson said. “If you have a smart phone, download the “Catch the Kid” smart phone app and get clues by visiting designated locations around New Mexico, like Lincoln, that will lead to Billy’s hideout. The more clues you collect, the more information you will have about where, when and how to capture ‘the Kid.’ Players with smart phones can also collect loot and use it to buy vacations, deals or even meals online in the General Store section of the ‘Catch the Kid’ website, www.catchthekid.com.”

If you don’t have a smart phone, you can still collect clues by taking a picture of yourself next to the clue poster and uploading it to your profile page.

For information on Old Lincoln Days, call 575-653-4025 or visit www.nmmonuments.org/inst.php?inst=7.

For information on Fort Stanton Live! call 575-354-0341 or visit

www.fortstanton.org/fort-stanton-live-2011.