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(photo courtesy Billy the Kid Festival/SEGHS)

To some urban Texans, associations of the Lone Star State as a place of outlaws and duels may seem like things of folklore. But for the residents of San Elizario, this history is palpable—and celebrated year after year at the Billy the Kid Festival. In 1876, the American gunslinger and outlaw paid a now-infamous visit to the El Paso County jail in San Elizario to break his friend Melquiades Segura out of the slammer. As the legend goes, Kid posed as a Texas Ranger to gain entry, turned his .44 on the jailer, and then he and Segura headed to Mexico. At the ninth annual event June 1-3, the small border town will celebrate the occasion with stick-ups and storytelling, plus folklorico dancing, a shotgun wedding, and an after-hours ghost tour. The weekend’s highlight will surely be the re-enactment of the jailbreak on the Main Street Stage at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Come dressed as your best Billy the Kid, and you’ll fit right in.

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