The Roy Rogers Dale Evans Western Film Festival returned to the big screen on September 6, after a six-year hiatus. The venue was the Digiplex Theater at Central and Bear Valley Roads in Apple Valley.
Begun back in 1998 at the Cinemark Theater in the Mall of Victor Valley, several Republic Studio B movie stars appeared there, including Roy and Dale to the delight of their many fans.
Roy was only able to attend the first festival, where his son Dusty sang to him his newly released song, “King of the Cowboys.” Roy passed away in July, 1998. Dale attended the first three.
Dusty and other family members carried on the yearly tradition through 2007, with the last three festivals held on a smaller scale at local hotels, including the historic Apple Valley Inn.
The Rogers family was represented this year by Roy and Dale’s two oldest daughters, Mimi Rogers Swift and Cheryl Rogers. Mimi resides in Wrightwood with her husband Bill, and Cheryl resides in Utah with her husband Larry.
Books, CDs and photographs from the Barnetts were purchased by fans and all were lovingly autographed by Cheryl, still The Cowboy Princess, who carries on the family tradition of connecting with the fans.
Cheryl kicked off the event with the screening of a nostalgic film composed of movie clips, family photos, and interviews of Roy shot by Mel Marion. Mel ran the riding stables at the Roy Rogers Inn back in the 1960’s. The
Double R Bar Regulators, in full Old West attire, assisted Joel Dortch and the Happy Trails staff in hosting the event.
In addition to a Sizzling Summer Project drawing, Curtis and Marilyn Pierson sold tickets for another of Marilyn’s beautiful handmade quilts. They will be raffled off along with the Silver Legend Saddle this December during Curly’s Cowboy Christmas.
Throughout the day during the Roy Rogers Dale Evans Film Festival, fans enjoyed watching the movies that returned them to days of yesteryear, where evil is avenged and the good guys always win.
Let’s hope this 11th Roy Rogers Western Film Festival is not the last!
Thanks to all who attended. “Happy Trails” and “May the good Lord take a liking to you.”
This and other events benefit the Happy Trails Children’s Foundation. To find out more, call (760) 240-3330, or visit the website: happytrails.org