Idaho Springs reaches compromise on mock gunfire

City Council allows the Wild Bunch to continue, but off Miner Street

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/28/22

Earlier in the month, an Idaho Springs City Council meeting’s public comment was rife with complaints and defenses of the mock gunfire used in a historical reenactment show by the Wild Bunch on Miner Street.

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Idaho Springs reaches compromise on mock gunfire

City Council allows the Wild Bunch to continue, but off Miner Street

Posted

A historical reenactment show, originally planned on Miner Street in Idaho Springs, is being moved to Harold A. Anderson Park behind the old steam engine in response to community complaints that mock gunfire could trigger panic in people unaware of the show.

Signs were put up and notifications made on Miner Street of the new location on the day of the Wild Bunch show on July 30.

“It’s more like a stage experience than what’s happening downtown,” Assistant City Administrator Jonathan Cain said, noting that business owners who spoke against the show at the previous City Council meeting were OK with the new location.


Of the compromise, Chuck Follen, a three-year member of the 15-year-old reenactment group from Central City, said, “If the city works with us, and letting people know we’re back there, I think we’ll be just fine.
Mayor Chuck Harmon recognized that not everyone was happy with the compromise, referencing Linda Enochs, owner of Margie’s Place, who sent a letter to the council disapproving of any gun show in a public place. But, he continued, “I realize that no compromise is going to be perfect.”


Earlier in the month, an Idaho Springs City Council meeting’s public comment was rife with complaints and defenses of the mock gunfire used in the historical reenactment show. Business owners and citizens raised concern that mock gunfire can trigger panic in people unaware of the show who heard the shots out of context. On July 25, the council met again with various options for a compromise.


“We had big crowds where we were. We’re just hoping we can get something similar in the new spot,” Follen continued, explaining that all tips attendees leave for the actors go to the Gilpin County Historical Society.


The only complaint the group had last year in Idaho Springs was a woman’s dog was scared, Follen said.


“We had no complaints that I’m aware of for the other 27 shows, so we were kind of mystified — we didn’t change anything, and all of this happened this year,” he added.


Follen said The Wild Bunch is OK with the move, though.
“We’re not unhappy about moving to the train. We think the train is a great spot. That end of the street doesn’t get the foot traffic that the other end of Miner Street gets, so we might bring more people down that way, which would be a help to the business on that end.”


The council decided to simply modify the Wild Bunch’s license to allow it to perform by the train.


“We don’t want to scare people away from the businesses. That’s definitely not the point of our show,” Follen said. “I think everything worked out pretty good.”

The group's next show is 

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