Roundup brings old west tradition to southern Utah

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-23 00:15:55-04

KANAB, Utah - The southern Utah community of Kanab is embracing the old west this weekend.

The Western Legends Roundup started on Wednesday and is a celebration of that old west heritage. Thousands flock to the streets for music, street vendors, cowboy poetry and a celebration of the city’s rich movie making history.

“Kanab was the scene of almost 200 movies and commercials,” said Brent Chamberlain, executive director of the roundup. “A lot of the old westerns were made here.”

Westerns like "The Virginian", "Daniel Boone" and "Grizzly Adams" all have backdrops set in Kane County. "Grizzly Adams" star Dan Haggerty met with fans as part of the roundup on Friday, and says he has fond memories of the production.

“It’s like a second home to me,” Haggerty said. “Kanab, Utah is a great spot. The people are very friendly.”

Visitors are also touring the Ponderosa Ranch from the television series “Bonanza.” In fact, the western feel of the area is still attracting producers to consider the site for their movies.

“It’s been a great experience,” movie producer Pat Boyd said. “This is our first time here to Kanab, and we’re hoping to come back in a couple of years and do a film here.”

Movies aren’t the only draw to the roundup. There are exhibits of antique farm equipment, blacksmithing, and wagon rides. Directors said the goal is to keep those traditions of the old west alive.

“Everybody can embrace and relate to the old western values,” Chamberlain said. “And that’s what I think we’ve got going on here.”

The Western Legends Roundup goes through Saturday. More information can be found here.