Pioneer Days Festival

 Pioneer Days Festival Update

Plans are underway to have the biggest and best 3-day holiday event that Jefferson has ever seen.

A committee was formed some weeks ago as an off-shoot of the Opera House Theatre Players board to formulate plans for the fist-ever Pioneer Days Festival to be held on the long Labor Day 

weekend occurring Sept. 4,5 and 6.  Committee members are Sara Davis, Doug Weir, Jim Blackburn,  Hollis Shadden, and Gary Endsley of Jefferson;  Bob and Lana Shaw, Ann Tyrina of Marshall, and JoeTodaro and Lisa Daye of Shreveport.  Players president Marcia Thomas serves as the committee chair.

According to Ms. Thomas, “everything is shaping up nicely for a very original and quite different event in town where no motorized vehicles will be used in the parade that kicks off at 10 am the morning of Saturday, September 4.  We are still looking for horse-back riders in groups or  as  individuals to participate in the parade and will offer a prize for the one looking most like an early citizen of Jefferson in the 1850s to 1890s when horses and buggies were the transportation. We are taking this back to the early days before the riverboats really became mainstream.  We are, in fact, trying to replicate much of those periods in all the events we have planned which includes a cowboy dance that early Saturday evening where a prize will again be given to the person who  is decked out most closely to the period,  and then a river-front Dutch Oven Cooking demo with cooks that dress the period and offers visitors a chance to sample the good food they have just cooked up!  In addition, there will be entertainment on site as well.  It will be situated in the area of the boat launch on the riverfront. I’d also like to add that the community has been so generous  as to help fund this event by donations to our 501(c)3 community theatre. Response has been excellent and we expect more to come in as well. We are thankful and excited!”.

Ms. Thomas went on to say that there will be plenty of time for visitors to walk around Jefferson and visit the stores and restaurants as well as take the train ride, the boat ride, or pay a visit to the Safari Park. Several times during Sat and Sun the re-creation of a violent confrontation between one of the Marion County’s early Sheriffs and a man who killed another is going to be held in the  exact spot where it occurred, the old wagon yard which is smack in the middle of the town.  The staged confrontation is being put together by Players board member Jim Blackburn, a retired investigator from Collin County.

Highlight of the 3- day event will be a  concert performed by the famous Sons of the Pioneers singing sextet that will serenade the audience with the grand old songs of yesteryear including “Cool, Cool, Waters” and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” among others.  According to Thomas, the first two-row VIP tickets are sold out but general seating tickets are still available.

The concert will be held in the City-owned Visitor Building near the riverfront.  Tickets may be purchased at The Willow Tree, 903-601-4515 or online at:  

More information on any of the activities is available by calling 903-665-8243.


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