Residents who like to think they live in the city's last patch of the Old West will spit-shine their boots and dust off their fringe jackets today for the Sylmar Chamber of Commerce's Western Days Fair.
Besides the chance to jingle spurs, visitors will be able to choose the community's honorary sheriff.
In what might be an effort to cut out the middleman from elections, Sylmar simply will award the office to the candidate with the biggest campaign war chest. Pretenders to the badge will have to browbeat members into buying vote tickets for $1 apiece.
"It's the American way, isn't it?" quipped Fred Weinhart, chairman of the event. "This is the 10th year we've done the contest. Actually, it's one of the biggest fund-raisers we do."
The fair, however, is new. It will be held in the parking lot of Phil's Market, 13820 Foothill Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Members of Equestrian Trails Inc., Corral 12, will provide horses and farm animals, while visitors will get the chance to drop chamber President Frank Jacobs in a "dunk tank," said Weinhart. Music, line dancing, food and various display booths also will fill the lot.
One candidate for the sheriff's spot, Don Schwenke, hopes to leap ahead of the pack by selling photographs of visitors next to his Dodge Viper performance sports car. The rest of the field will find other ways to rustle up votes, said Weinhart.
The contest runs until Nov. 19.