2017-11-30 / Front Page

Community support and volunteers made Pioneer Day a huge success

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor


Davis demonstrated the art of blacksmithing to a host of eager visitors at the 21st annual Pioneer Day celebration at the Lincoln County Historical Park. 
(Photos by Jane Ellyn Aaron). Davis demonstrated the art of blacksmithing to a host of eager visitors at the 21st annual Pioneer Day celebration at the Lincoln County Historical Park. (Photos by Jane Ellyn Aaron). The celebration of Pioneer Day, which sees thousands of visitors every year, was deemed a success by volunteers and festival-goers alike this year; and that comes with a lot of joy and thankfulness after the Lincoln County Historical So­ciety considered the possibility of discontinuing the tradition at its August meeting.

While not a happy contemplation, concerns about not having enough people to conduct the event drove the discussion, however by a small margin the Society voted to hold Pioneer Day with the understanding that some things need to be changed in order to conduct the event, ac­cording to members.

Once word began to circulate, many new and returning individuals and entities volunteered their ser­vices to aid the 21-year old tradition that is Pioneer Day.


Lincoln County Historical Society volunteers (right) Clarence Bouk­night and (left) .David .Delabar,,.-,.along .with .others,,..gave .a .live .demon­stration - on operating the historical park’s saw mill at Pioneer Day. The demonstration drew in a crowd filled with people of all ages. Lincoln County Historical Society volunteers (right) Clarence Bouk­night and (left) .David .Delabar,,.-,.along .with .others,,..gave .a .live .demon­stration - on operating the historical park’s saw mill at Pioneer Day. The demonstration drew in a crowd filled with people of all ages. “Pioneer Day is always a lot of fun, and when it was threatened we saw great responses from members of the community,” Historical So­ciety President Gary Edwards said. “We had a great outpouring of com­munity support – from the churches, different county officials, including the Board of Commissioners, along with individual volunteers, and So­ciety members.”

The festival, held every year at the Lincoln County Historical Park, is the only day when all the park’s at­tractions are operated. From the grist mill to the cotton gin, blacksmithing demonstrations to the cane syrup press, this special event both high­lights and preserves a hardworking way of life that so often gets lost in history.

Not only does it serve as a mea­Mark sure to preserve Lincoln County’s history, but it also serves as a space for community fellowship, which naturally extends to outside visi­tors, as they explore the park’s cozy, unique spread, enjoy historic tours and talks, docents, vendors, car and tractor shows, and more that add to Pioneer Day’s antiquated atmosphere.

“Since this was my last Pioneer Day as president of the Society, my takeaway from it is just that it’s a fun event to run – the volunteers enjoy it, visitors enjoy it, and espe­cially those who had never been to it before, they really loved it. The things we bring to this day are just wonderful, and to hear newcomers say, ‘I had no idea this was here, I enjoyed it so much,’ that just means so much to me,” Edwards said.

“You know, so many people never expect for us to have anything like it here,” he added, noting that that particular element of surprise makes Pioneer Day all-the-more special because of it.

Edwards profusely thanked mem­bers of the community for their donations to the festival and Coun­try Store, along with the churches, students, and volunteers for singing and working throughout the day. He also thanked Society members for the many efforts they put forth to make the 21st year of the festival a success.

Prior to the festival, Edwards remarked, “We try to make Pioneer Day a little different and hopefully a little better every year, so new guests will be favorably impressed and those that return every year will find something new and interesting as well.”

After having some 3,000 visitors this year, his statement was proven true, and with the high turnout, and an increased turnout of volunteers, the future of Pioneer Day looks very promising.

“We’re proud of putting on a real quality festival,” Edwards said. “Some of us were sitting around after the event, and a few of the hardest working volunteers even remarked ‘we’re not going to let this die.’”

On that sentiment, the community and visitors from beyond should an­ticipate next year’s Pioneer Day on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in keeping with tradition.

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