BENSON — With the success of last year’s inaugural event, organizers for the upcoming Benson Pony Express Western Days are expecting an even greater turnout this time around.

Through a coordinated effort between Benson Pony Express and Benson Clean and Beautiful, a full slate of entertainment is lined up Saturday, Sept. 21 Lions Park. Highlighted by the Benson Pony Express mail route ride from Benson to Dragoon, the event will also feature vendors, food, car show, Power from the Past tractor pulls, raffles and live entertainment. The Gooseflats Gunslingers will be arresting folks for charity.

The Pony Express riders are scheduled to depart the park shortly after the 1 p.m. swearing-in for the 21-mile horseback ride to Dragoon Post Office, and where they’ll be welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd.

Events go on throughout the day at the park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendor check in is from 6 to 8 a.m. with car show check in from 9 to 10 a.m. The tractor pulls are scheduled for 10 a.m. with KIIM 99.5 radio broadcasting live from 11 to 1 p.m. Tigger and Mickey Mouse and face painting are sure to keep the little ones amused and the Dave Owens Band will entertain from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

“We have five food vendors and 25 regular vendors for all pre-Christmas shopping needs,” noted Cindy Allen, of Benson Pony Express. “We have an all year’s car show with cash prizes for the top three competitors plus a People’s choice award. The winner will grace the front of the T-shirt next year and the people’s choice award will grace the dash plaques. The festivities begin at 10 a.mm and we look forward to the continued support of the community.”

Last year, “postal clerks” in the park were busy throughout the day, sorting and arranging the commemorative stationery, stamps and envelopes.

“... We had twice as many cars as we’ve ever had, an eclectic mix of 32 vendors, a super band with Dave Owens and a wonderful mix of other entertainment. The teamwork between Benson Beautification and Benson Pony Express makes us all proud and we look forward to an even better event next year…” event organizers said at the conclusion of the inaugural event held last year.

Additionally, seven Benson Pony Express riders completed the mail run in three hours and carried 171 pieces of mail — both new records.

“We look forward to a great turnout,” said Lisa Hill of Benson Clean and Beautiful.

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