The year was 1880. A United States Army scout William Cody visited his friend Frank "White Beaver" Powell in Lanesboro. An idea was born to start a Wild West circus. Later, the first small show was held on the second floor of Mrs. B's Historic Lanesboro Inn, which was then Nelson Hall. Soon after, Cody started touring and the legend of Buffalo Bill spread.

The city of Lanesboro will be holding its annual Buffalo Bill Days this weekend, Aug. 2-4, to celebrate the legend of Buffalo Bill and the time he spent in the city.

Cody's nickname "Buffalo Bill" was earned in large part with how many buffalo he killed. According to his autobiography, "The Life and Adventures of Buffalo Bill Cody", he killed over 4,000 buffalo in an 18-month span. There will be no buffalo killings during Buffalo Bill Days, but many other activities will be taking place.

Committee co-chair Mara Drake said, "It's a great way for the community to come together and celebrate during the summer."

The Cannon Old West Society, a living history reenactment company, will be holding a bank robbery event at 10 a.m., a shoot-out in Sylvan Park at noon, and another showdown between the good guys and bad guys near the beer/brat tent at 2 p.m. The reenactments are held out in a normal town setting and allow visitors to feel like they are part of the action. Drake said one of the men usually dresses up like Buffalo Bill.

There will be several music events throughout the weekend as well. The country-rock band Trouble Shooter will be playing at a street dance in front of the fire hall on Friday beginning at 8:30 and lasting until 12:30 a.m.

Several bands will be performing at the Sylvan Park gazebo throughout Saturday. A women's trio, Bandanas, will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Root River Jam band from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; and the Arnold Bradley Band from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The band Next 2 Nothing will be performing a variety of rock n' roll, country, and pop music hits from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. at a dance at the beer and brat tent. The Alley Cats will be performing at the gazebo at 3 p.m. on Sunday. A DJ and karaoke will be playing from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the beer and brat tent that evening.

Softball and volleyball tournaments will be running during the weekend. Around 20 volleyball teams and 26 softball teams will be squaring off in Lanesboro. Preston will also be holding some of the softball games. Concessions will be for sale during the games, which are free to attend. Volleyball matches will be held at the sand courts.

An 18-hole golf tournament will be held from Friday at 5 p.m. to Sunday at noon. Between that time, anyone can register and play a round. The best round will be announced on Sunday around 7 p.m. at the beer and brat tent. More information about the tournament can be obtained by calling (507) 467-3742.

If one is still in a competitive mood, the Fire Department Bean Bag Tournament will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. and start at noon on Saturday. The two-person team tournament will be in front of the fire hall. Fifty percent of the profits go toward a favorite charity of the department's and the other 50 percent is received by the winner.

Bingo will be held by the Union Prairie Lutheran Church from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Sylvan Park shelter.

Visitors can also expect businesses and usual attractions to be open during the weekend. The Lanesboro Market Place and Farmer's Market will open at the Community Center parking lot at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Commonweal Theatre will be running two of its shows during the weekend. "Blithe Spirit" will run Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure" will run at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday evening.

The Lanesboro Historical Museum is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and contains some Buffalo Bill memorabilia.

The park will be open for kids events from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with an inflatable obstacle course, giant slide, water wars, bounce house and carnival games.

Sober Shuttle Rides will again be provided by R&M Amish Tours from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. People can call (507) 467-2128 for a ride.

The grand parade will commence at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday and be led by Cody Jr., the Buffalo, who is the son of Cody the Buffalo of "Dances With Wolves" fame.

Raffle tickets for cash prizes will be sold at the Park Info Booth. They are $5 each and the top prize is $500. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold.

The fireworks show will begin around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday night.

Drake said people can expect a lot of fun and great events during this year's Buffalo Bill Days. "There is family fun and adults will also be able to kick up their heels and enjoy the weekend."

She added that Lanesboro will be expecting Buffalo Bill enthusiasts from out of state to arrive as well. "It's nice to have an association with Buffalo Bill," explained Drake, saying it helps the city stand out even more.