By Frank Lewis
You had to pinch yourself to see that you weren’t dreaming Saturday, during the Look-Alike Costume Contest at the Roy Rogers Festival at the Holiday Inn in Portsmouth. It was as if you were really seeing your cowboy, and yes, cowgirl heroes but they were just people competing in the contest.
Roy Rogers, Lash Larue, Tonto, Dale Evans and Annie Oakley were all portrayed by people vying to win the competition.
“Everybody that dresses like their favorite star or cowboy is judged,” Garnet Davis of the Roy Rogers Festival Committee said. “We have a panel of our judges and everybody goes up and has to talk for probably a minute or two representing the star that they are dressed like.”
The room in which the competition took place was packed, in fact, it was standing room only as camera flashes were going off continually and entertainer Jon Patterson, husband of Dodie Rogers Patterson, Roy and Dale’s youngest daughter, emceed the event.
“Usually there are 12 or 14 in attendance to be the look-alike. They choose the winners in two or three different categories,” Davis said. “I can’t even get in the room because it is so crowded and I have to get pictures.”
The contestants were dressed right down to the smallest detail. If you looked close enough you would see the whip wrapped around the six-shooter on Lash Larue’s hip. The Tonto look-alike was wearing authentic buckskin shirt and pants and brought back memories to those in attendance.
The big shootout of the day came at intervals beginning at 11 a.m. The Dogwood Pass West Show across Second Street in front of the Holiday Inn, featured characters such as Gabby Hayes and Calamity Jane. It was fun for everyone who came for a few hours of nostalgia.
The grand banquet with the stars was scheduled to bring down the curtain for the event at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.