The coordinator of the upcoming Doc HolliDAYS in Tombstone has announced its 2019 grand marshal, and the choice puts a spin on the annual event which runs Aug. 10 and 11.
Creator Sherry Rudd said actor Michael Biehn, who played Holliday’s nemesis Johnny Ringo in the movie “Tombstone,” will be this year’s featured guest. Biehn will participate in several activities, including a non-motorized parade and meet-and-greet sessions at various locations in Tombstone.
“We want to honor Doc Holliday and his continual connection to the city of Tombstone, but we also felt it was a good time to change things up a bit,” Rudd said. “The event has become so popular that even Doc’s nemesis wanted to enjoy the weekend with us!”
Rudd is also using the twist to this year’s theme to change up some of the event activities. Each entry in the look-a-like contest must include a Doc and Ringo together. There will also be a gun-spinning contest in honor of Biehn’s scene in Tombstone, she said.
In real life, Indiana-born John Peters Ringo lived in several states, including Missouri, California, and Texas. He killed several men before making his way to Arizona in 1879.
Records show Holliday and Ringo had at least one documented encounter in Tombstone in January 1882. Months later, Ringo died in Cochise County. He was found leaning against a tree in Turkey Creek Canyon with a gunshot wound to the head.
The inaugural Doc HolliDAYS event featured Val Kilmer, who took on the Holliday role opposite Biehn’s Johnny Ringo in the movie “Tombstone.” Last year’s grand marshal was actor Dennis Quaid who portrayed Holliday in the movie Wyatt Earp. Both years drew thousands of people to Tombstone.
Biehn was in town last June with other cast and crew members for a 25th reunion celebration of the movie Tombstone. The Herald/Review asked why he decided to return so soon.
“I am coming to Tombstone because I heard that lunger Doc Holliday has been seen there,” Biehn said. “I want his blood and I want his soul!”
Biehn has personal ties to southern Arizona, having attended the University of Arizona as a young man. He then started his Hollywood career with the television show “Logan’s Run” and an uncredited role as the basketball player hit by John Travolta’s character in “Grease.”
In the early 1980s, Biehn gained fame with lead roles in The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss before being cast as legendary Old West bad guy Johnny Ringo in Tombstone. In the years since, he frequently portrayed military and law enforcement characters in movies such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse” and “The Shadow Effect” with Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Biehn has directed movies and episodic television, and he owns a production company with his wife, Jennifer. He’s also voiced several video games, including two Blood Dragon projects.
Doc HolliDAYS event information is available at www.theannualdochollidays.com