TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — They say "the show must go on."
For the Pistoleros Wild West Show at Trail Dust Town, the show goes on as they demonstrate the Spirit of Southern Arizona.
The Pistoleros have been entertaining crowds on Tucson's east side for the last 25 years.
"It's really a lot of fun," said Jerry Woods.
He helped start the show in 1997, and has been performing ever since.
His wife Heather is a mainstay in the show as well.
The Woods family now owns and operates the Pistoleros Wild West Show, after the owners of Trail Dust Town had to close the show at the start of COVID.
"Our fans have been amazing," Heather Woods said. "We really didn't expect to be still in business, honestly when we started two years ago."
Their son Noah stars in the show.
"I love it," said Noah Woods. "You get to come out here and play cowboy and relive the old westerns."
While Noah is busy playing cowboy and reliving those old westerns, his father is looking to step back from those grueling stunts, which have taken their toll over the years.
"I don't want to compromise the show, the main show by toning the stunts down so that I can continue in the show as a main character," explained Jerry Woods. "I'll find something on the sidelines to do."
The search is on for the next generation of performers. Spearheading that recruitment effort is 25-year-old Noah.
"We're heading into one of our busier seasons towards the end of the year, with Halloween and Christmas show season," said Noah. "We'd like to hire a couple new stuntmen and possibly a tech to help us out and get us back to the way we were before COVID."
That would mean increasing performances from three nights a week back to five.
Noah says previous stunt work is not necessary to apply.
"If you're a person with like a big personality and likes attention, this is kind of one of the perfect jobs for you."
If they don't find the next generation of stunt performers, the future of the Pistoleros is in doubt.
"If we can't find more of my generation and get them to come out here, then the show will eventually probably be no more. But we don't want it to get to that."
The Woods family says they are having issues hiring right now -- just like many small businesses.
If you want to go catch a show, they have two performances every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.