For Greene County News
JAMESTOWN — Whip artist Gery L. Deer and Xenia thrown weapons expert Kirk Bass will lead a full troupe of whip artists, trick ropers, knife throwers and other Wild West arts experts during the 2015 Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase.
Part of the Annie Oakley Festival at York Woods in Ansonia, Ohio and presented in the spirit of the stage-style Wild West shows of the late 19th Century, each production will include some detailed history about how these arts came to be and who still practices them today. There are two shows, beginning 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26.
Whip marksmanship competitions headline the show beginning with the National Whip Speed and Accuracy Exhibition Competition, the world’s only bullwhip fast draw contest. Plus, there is a brand new contest taken straight from the big screen. At the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana Jones demonstrated his skills with the holstered fast-draw of a 10-foot bullwhip, all while having to spin around to take aim first.
In the spirit of Jones’ proficiency, this year’s showcase competition will include a special “blind fast draw,” where whip artists must mimic the move used in the film and shoot at a target with speed and accuracy.
“With the popularity of Indiana Jones among western performers, particularly whip artists, it’s odd this hasn’t been done before,” said Deer, a Jamestown resident who holds national whip speed and accuracy titles and is the director of The Whip Artistry Studio, the only permanent whip training facility in America.
The Grand Wild West Showcase, hosted by the music and comedy of Greene County’s own, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, follows at 5 p.m.
“We pull out all the stops on Saturday evening,” Deer said. “The Brothers & Co. Variety Show is a one-of-a-kind musical variety show from a by-gone era, full of comedy, magic, and some of the best four-part music on stage today. There will be nothing else like this anywhere at the festival.”
For more information or to participate in the whip contests, contact the production office of GLD Enterprises at 937-902-4857 or email [email protected].