There is a saddlebag full of reasons to visit Stanley in late summer, but we sure-as-shootin' love the annual Stanley-Sawtooth Cowboy Gathering in September, sponsored by the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas, a Stanley-based organization that also runs the Sawtooth Arts and Crafts Fair in July. This year, the Mamas celebrate the American West and the working cowboy with poetry, tall tales and plenty of music from The Fall River Boys, The Romirells, Coyote Joe Sartin and others.
The highlight of the weekend is the Cowboy Fast-Draw Competition, which happens Saturday and Sunday. The fast-draw is open to the public, but some competitors take it very seriously; so much so, that there's actually a Sawtooth Shootist Society, promoting what it says is "one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country." Many of the shootists dress as gunfighters, gamblers, lawmen, outlaws and saloon girls. Draw!