And it happens again every year on the same spot.
Chelsea's, a local restaurant and bar, provides the male players for the re-enactment of the bank robbery and shoot-out that takes place this Saturday on Spring Street following the antique car parade. Joe Easton will be the sheriff. The Chamber of Commerce provides the ammunition.
Michelle McDonald adds local color providing costumes for women in two categories: outfits or society ladies, a.k.a. the polky-dot ladies, and finery for the local working girls.
"Us polky-dot ladies want to drive the floozies out of town for stealing our men," McDonald said. "The sheriff is no help -- he vistis them on Tuesdays."
McDonald is owner of Celebrations and Traditions, a costume shop where she has literally thousands of dresses, hats, suits and accessories from all eras. For the bank robbery, she provides 1920s dresses and hats for the ladies. Floozies have a choice of dance-hall dresses or Miss Kitty-type gowns. It's become a tradition to recruit fourth graders, who dress up and sell reprints of the 1922 Daily Times-Echo, since McDonald started the re-enactment day pre-show eight years ago.
"I dress them in elementary school and now watch them heading out to college," she said. "Here's the dilemma: they all want to be floozies."
In years past, money raised selling newspapers goes to support school activities and the costume shop, which asks for donations in return for the costume rental. This year, she will be dressing women and children at her shop on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., she said.
McDonald is also costuming people for this weekend's murder mystery at Bridgeford House and Crescent Cottage B & Bs. Guests sign up for different roles in the mystery -- Crystal Chandelier, Jubal Lation, Jacob Slatter -- and must be in costume. When people first come in her shop, some are reticent at first, McDonald said, but end up winning the costume contest.
"You can't get them to take them off," she said.
McDonald got hooked on vintage apparel when she visited Chautauqua, N.Y., for the first time in 1998. She returned two more years and also got involved in Old First Night at Chapel Hill, N.C., where she owned a Victorian house. When she moved to Eureka Springs 11 years ago, she bought Rosalie Hill House on Spring Street, where she held teas and tours. She also lived in Carrie Nation Hall. When the Eureka Van Tour business became available, she bought it, and added the costume shop. Since then, McDonald has dressed people for the annual whirl of festivals -- including Mardi Gras, the Rotary's Victorian Classic, Voices from Eureka's Silent City Living Cemetery Tour and the Folk Festival -- and has started a Victorian Christmas celebration with street carolers. Peggy Feltrope and daughter June Owen made many of the costumes by hand, McDonald said.
"I go to the movies just to see the clothes," she said of costume dramas.
Something happens when people put on vintage costumes and go out on the streets of an historic town, she said.
"When you dress up, you connect with people," she said. "There's magic in the clothes."
On Saturday, the polka-dot ladies and the floozies will meet at her Pine Mountain Village shop at 10 a.m., go to Chelsea's for the traditional portrait of the re-enactors, including the undertaker, played by David Powell. Kurtz Miller is in charge of this year's robbery re-enactment, McDonald said. For more information about Celebrations and Traditions, go to www.eurekavantour.com.