Solute to the Buffalo Soldiers

The sixth annual Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers will stampede through Tombstone the first weekend in August.

It features two full days of street entertainment and events honoring the Buffalo Soldiers who helped mold the Old West into what it is today. The highlight of the festival will be the Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers Parade down Allen Street.

The event is sponsored by the Wild West Detachment Marine Corps League and the merchants of the City of Tombstone.

Buffalo Soldiers were African-American soldiers who fought actively and respectively defending the United States of America, starting back in 1866. There were six African-American army units.

“The Buffalo Soldiers also kept the Apaches peaceful due to their presence,” said Bill Pakinkis, otherwise known as Bronco Bill, who is on the Marine Corps League.

The Buffalo Soldiers’ main objective was to protect settlers trying to move West. They supported manifest destiny by building the infrastructure necessary for new settlements to thrive. The Buffalo Soldiers used Tombstone “as a stopover town going on patrol and returning back to Fort Huachuca after patrol, as well as spending their pay here when they had time off,” Pakinkis said.

Tombstone’s annual salute recognizes the soldiers’ contribution to the region’s history and aims to keep their memory alive, Pakinkis said.

If You Go

What: Salute to the Buffalo Soldiers.

Where: Historic Allen Street.

When: Aug. 2–3.

Cost: Free

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