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New Around Town: Willcox

Written by Leah LeMoine Category: Adventures Issue: January 2018
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The late "Arizona Cowboy" Rex Allen's hometown is updating its Western roots for a new era.

Willcox Commercial Co.
This general store originally opened on Railroad Avenue in 1880, when Willcox was but a whistle-stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Town lore claims that Apache leader Geronimo shopped for supplies there, which would have been a sight to see. The shop had a good run: It lasted until 2013, when recession ripples led to its demise. This past October, new owners Mark Phillips (winemaker at nearby Golden Rule Vineyards), John Oberreuter and Brenda Hansen revamped and reopened the joint, stocking it with Western clothing, jewelry and art.
180 Railroad Ave., 520-384-2448

Amarillo by Morning
You wouldn't know it by looking at the racks and stacks of cowgirl-chic tanks, T-shirts, sweaters, wraps, jeans, jewelry, purses and candles, but this ladies' boutique was once a barbershop frequented by outlaws and lawmen, including Arizona Ranger Billy Speed, who was immortalized in the Marty Robbins song "Big Iron." Willcox fashionista April Denny bought the place two years ago and commenced feminization.
104 Railroad Ave., 520-507-0308


West Fest and Chuck Wagon Cook-Off
When in a cowboy town, eat like a cowboy at this annual event dedicated to Wild West cookery. In addition to chuck wagon vittles, attendees can watch demonstrations on how to brand cattle, load a mule or ride a horse. Cap off the event - held in late April/early May; dates TBD at press time - with the Ranch Rodeo, with real cowboys from local ranches vying for the top buckaroo slot.