Val Kilmer vis­its Tombstone for Old West themed event

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Val Kilmer rode through the streets of Tombstone in a horse­drawn wagon to the chants of “We love you Val!” on Satur­day as the ac­tor re­turned to the Old West town that was the set­ting of one of his most fa­mous roles.

Kilmer came to Tombstone for the “Doc Holli-Days” event to cel­e­brate the life of gun­slinger Doc Hol­l­i­day, whom Kilmer played in the 1993 movie “Tombstone.” He also met with fans and was to at­tend a party to mark Hol­l­i­day’s birth­day on Aug. 14.

Kilmer wore a cow­boy hat, sun­glasses and bright green shoes as he was led through town in the 1880s coach.

“Ladies and gentle­men might I please in­tro­duce one of the stars — if not the star, pe­riod — of our favourite movie and the ob­ject of our in­au­gu­ral Doc Holli-Days, Val Kilmer,” the pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer said as fans cheered and snapped up pic­tures.

Tombstone was once a bustling min­ing town that be­came syn­ony­mous with the Wild West fol­low­ing the shootout at the O.K. Cor­ral in­volv­ing Hol­l­i­day and Wy­att Earp. The mines shut down years ago, but the town near the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der re­mains a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion.

The town saw a surge in pop­u­lar­ity after the hit 1993 movie “Tombstone,” star­ring Kilmer, Kurt Rus­sell and Sam El­liot. The movie was filmed at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Arizona, but not in Tombstone.

Kilmer vis­ited the town dur­ing the mak­ing of the movie but hadn’t been back since.

Gun­fight re-en­act­ments are the event’s big draw, but Kilmer will not par­tic­i­pate in them, said Bruce Nielsen, pres­i­dent of the lo­cal Lions Club, which is or­ga­nized the pa­rade.

Many of the Doc Holli-Days events were sold out, gen­er­at­ing con­cerns about crowd sizes. “I am con­cerned that the town is going to be over­whelmed,” Nielsen said.

Doc Holli-Days is one of sev­eral week­end cel­e­bra­tions that Tombstone holds through­out the year, in­clud­ing Wy­att Earp Days and Hell­do­rado Days.

It was dur­ing the 2015 Hell­do­rado when an ac­tor used real bul­lets in­stead of blanks dur­ing the re-en­act­ment of a duel, wound­ing a par­tic­i­pant and caus­ing mi­nor in­juries to a by­stander.

That prompted the town to write new reg­u­la­tions for its gun­fights.

AP PHOTO/MARK HUMPHREY, FILE

In this Jan. 9, 2014 file photo, Val Kilmer poses for a por­trait in Nashville, Tenn.

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