Mustang Days 2018 | Lovell celebrates ‘Running with the Mustangs’

Mustang Days 2018 is underway in Lovell as the Rose City celebrates its unique Western heritage to the theme of “Running with the Mustangs” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

While many traditional events will be on the schedule once again this year, there are few new and/or different wrinkles added to the festivities, chairman Nicole Hendershot said.

With Chris Good having ended his longtime relationship with Mustang Days and the Lovell Volunteer Fire Dept., there will be no fireworks at Horseshoe Bend on Saturday night. Instead, the Mustang Days Committee is planning an Outdoor Family Movie Night at the practice field adjacent to the Lovell High School Johnny Winterholler Gym.

“It’s going to be a really fun event for families,” Hendershot said. “We’ll have music, food or treat vendors and activities before the movie. While waiting for the movie to start you can claim your spot and enjoy time with family and friends.”

The movie “Night at the Museum” will play on an inflatable screen for a suggested donation of $1 per person. Gates will open at 8 p.m. with the movie at dusk.

Another new event this year is the Run the Dauntlet obstacle course Saturday afternoon sponsored by Bairco and Club Dauntless between the two businesses just off U.S. 310 on the Cannery Road west of Lovell (see related story).

The event will run from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., and there will be an entry fee of $20 for adults and $10 for youths 12-17. The fee for the Elite Class is $40.

The course will feature 12 stations. For more information or to register, go to

Other changes this year include a new site for the teen dance Friday night, at three-on-three basketball tournament, a new site and time for the fun run and car show and an open house at the Masonic lodge.

Mustang Center events

The Pryor Mountain Mustang Center has been hosting Visit the Mustang Center events at the center just east of Lovell on U.S. 14A this week. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and people are urged to stop by and learn about the Pryor Mountain horses on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the horse range.

The center will also be open after the parade on Saturday.

Nancy Cerroni, president of the PMWMC board, said the center will offer door prizes for those who visit, and she said Friday is a special “Wild Horse Watcher Day” at the center and on the range in collaboration the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Vehicles manned by volunteers and Park Service and BLM staff will be stationed a different places on the Bighorn Canyon Parkway (Highway 37 to Horseshoe Bend and Barry’s Landing) on Friday to help people spot the horses, wherever they may be. The Mustang Center will also offer a checklist of the “Horses of Big Horn Canyon” and will have a picture guide available, as well, Cerroni said. The checklist may be picked up at the Bighorn Canyon NRA Visitor Center, the Wild Mustang Center or in the field, she added.

“We really want local people to come out and get to know the horses better,” Cerroni said. “We really encourage people to bring their kids out. We’ll try to have water and some snacks available.”

On Saturday, June 30, the Mustang Center will host author Christine Reed after the parade until 5 p.m. for an open house and book signing. Reed, of Omaha, Neb., will sign her book “Saving the Pryor Mountain Mustang: A Legacy of Local and Federal Cooperation” about the effort during the 1960s and afterwards to protect the Pryor Mountain wild horses.

The celebration kicked off Saturday with the Lovell Recreation District Triathlon, the Hyart Film Festival, the North Big Horn Search and Rescue Demolition Derby and a concert at
the Hyart Theatre and continued Monday and Tuesday with the Lovell Rod and Gun Club Top Gun Shoot and Trap Shoot, respectively.

The first performance of the Mustang Follies was held Wednesday night, and any remaining tickets for Thursday night’s show can be obtained online at Tickets are $6 each.

Here is the remaining lineup for the 2018 Mustang Days celebration:

Thursday, June 28

9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Visit the Mustang Center to learn about the Pryor Mountain horses, Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, Highway 14A just east of the National Park Service Visitor Center.

7:15 p.m. – Dollies of the Follies and the Mustang Band in front of the Hyart Theatre. Dollies are Samantha Durtsche, Nicole Hendershot, Alyssa Herman, Lauren Shumway, Aubrie Strom and Codee Trautman.

8 p.m. – Mustang Follies, Hyart Theatre, performing “The Greatest Show.” The 12-act production will include a variety of acts, many of them based on the hit movie “The Greatest Showman” about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.

Friday, June 29

6-10 a.m. – Mustang Breakfast, Lovell Fire Hall, $5 for adults, $3 for kids, under 2 free. Organized by North Big Horn Hospital.

9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Wild Horse Watcher Day, Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center and the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Come to the canyon to view the wild mustangs.

9 a.m. – Big Horn Youth Explosion three-on-three basketball tournament, LHS and LMS gyms, sponsored by the Lovell Recreation District.

5-8 p.m. – Family Fun Night, Constitution Park. Food tickets $2, game tickets 25 cents. Food vendors will also be on site.

8 p.m. – Cowley Boys Street Dance, Minchow’s Food Court parking lot, 317 E. Main. Free.

9 p.m. to Midnight – Glow Crazy Teen Night, Third Street between Nevada and Montana. For high school students: incoming freshmen through 2018 graduates. Admission $5.

Saturday, June 30

6-9 a.m. – Mustang Breakfast, Lovell Fire Hall.

6:30 a.m. – Mustang Fun Run, registration 5:45-6:20 a.m., Lovell Fire Hall. $10 for preregistration, $15 day of the race. Tiffany Wilkerson and Jill Allen are organizers.

9 a.m.-noon. – Mustang Days Car Show, all makes, models and years, Nevada Avenue north of Main Street. No registration required. Call 272-0876 for more information.

9:30 a.m. – Kiddie Parade. Line up at the Hyart Theatre parking lot at 9 a.m.

10 a.m. – Rose Parade, Main Street. Line up at the high school parking lot. Parade runs west to east with no doubling back.

11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Queen Bee Gardens sample tasting, 244 East Main.

11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Tri-Mountain View Masonic Lodge open house, corner of Third and Montana. Meet the Shrine turtles and enjoy a light lunch.

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center Open House and Book Signing, Highway 14A East.

12:30 p.m.  – Co-ed volleyball tournament, Constitution Park. Call Rhonda Savage at 548-6466 to register a team. $35 per team.

12:30-3:30 p.m. – Run the Dauntlet obstacle course, Club Dauntless on the Cannery Road. For information go to

1 p.m. – Mustang Days Golf Tournament, Foster Gulch, 929 Lane 13. Sponsored by Big Horn Federal.

2 p.m. – Mustang Rodeo, Lovell Rodeo Grounds. Admission $10 for adults, $7 kids 7-12.

2 p.m. — Big Horn Youth Explosion three-on-three basketball tournament, LHS and LMS gyms.

8 p.m. – Outdoor Family Movie Night, “Night at the Museum,” suggested donation $1, Lovell High School.

By David Peck