LeCLAIRE, Iowa — Rebecca Casad has more in common with Annie Oakley than looks — she can shoot, too.
The 10-year-old from Davenport won first place Saturday in an Annie Oakley look-alike contest at LeClaire’s Buffalo Bill Museum while Nathan Kuberski, 5, of LeClaire claimed top honors for his rendition of Buffalo Bill Cody, the bearded showman of the Wild West Show.
The competitions took place during the museum’s celebration of the 165th birthday of Cody, who was born Feb. 26, 1846, and died Jan. 10, 1917.
Rebecca and Nathan were treated to a lunch with re-enactors of Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley, sharp-shooting stars of the Wild West Show that delighted audiences in the United States and Europe.
“I like to shoot a lot. Like Annie Oakley,” Rebecca said.
She and her siblings hone their skills in marksmanship programs at Oak Hills Gun Club, Blue Grass. She shoots at the sharpshooter level and is working on advancing to the expert category.
When boys doubt she can shoot so well, she demonstrates her skill by shooting bull’s-eyes with a .22 rifle.
Nathan’s costume was fashioned from a Barbie doll wig and a leather coat trimmed down to fit his size with fringe created from discarded bits. “I’ve got two
pretend guns. When you move (the trigger), it goes click,” he said.
He knows a little about Cody who lived in LeClaire as a young man.
The competition was the idea of Alex Smith, 15, a newcomer to the museum’s board, as a way to encourage kids to visit the museum and learn more about Cody and Oakley. About 165 visitors toured the displays, Lone Star wooden-hulled paddleboat and the newest exhibit of a Civil war encampment.
Isabella Cornet, 2 1/2, of LeClaire, portrayed a young Annie Oakley in a fitted frock coat and cowboy hat, carrying a Victorian-like baby doll.
Bob Schiffke, the museum’s executive director, enjoyed watching the contest and hopes more youngsters will participate next year.
“Kids seemed to enjoy their dressing up. It was nice that they got to meet Buffalo Bill,” he smiled.