Val Kilmer to visit Tombstone for Old West-themed event

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TOMBSTONE, Ariz. (AP) — Val Kilmer is coming to Tombstone on Saturday for an event to celebrate the life of Doc Holliday, the legendary gunfighter whom the actor famously portrayed in the 1993 movie that was set in the Old West town.

Kilmer will participate in several events at Doc Holli-Days, including riding in a horse-drawn stagecoach while serving as grand marshal in a parade. He will also meet with fans and attend a birthday party for Holliday, who was born on Aug. 14.

Tombstone was once a bustling mining town that became synonymous with the wild west following the shootout at the O.K. Corral involving Holliday and Wyatt Earp. The mines shut down years ago, but the town near the U.S.-Mexico border remains a popular tourist destination.

The town saw a surge in popularity after the hit 1993 movie “Tombstone,” starring Kilmer, Kurt Russell and Sam Elliot. The movie was filmed at various locations in Arizona, but not in Tombstone.

Kilmer visited the town during the making of the movie but hasn’t been back since.

“He can’t wait til he gets here,” said Bruce Nielsen, president of the local Lions Club, which is organizing the parade. “He’s excited.”

Gunfight re-enactments are the event’s big draw, but Nielsen said Kilmer will not participate in them.

Many of the Doc Holli-Days events are sold out, generating concerns about crowd sizes.

“I am concerned that the town is going to be overwhelmed,” Nielsen said.

Doc Holli-Days is one of several weekend celebrations that Tombstone holds throughout the year, including Wyatt Earp Days and Helldorado Days.

It was during the 2015 Helldorado when an actor used real bullets instead of blanks during the re-enactment of a duel, wounding a participant and causing minor injuries to a bystander.

That prompted the town wrote new regulations for its gunfights after.

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