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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Toddlers in Kiddie Parade, 1999
Kiddie Parade, Town & Country Days, 1999. Photo: Miriam D. Richardson

Town and Country Days

This four-day festival held the third September weekend has a parade, contests, entertainment, and a carnival.

Originally known as the Fall Fair or Merchant and Farmer's Fair, its programming during the 1920's focused on the agricultural community. Early festivals featured categories of grain, fruit, poultry, vegetables and household arts, including needlework. Floral arrangements were displayed in the skating rink in Lions Park. The festival also showed dolls, and featured a Ferris wheel.

In the late 1970s, grand marshals and a public address system were added to enhance the parade. To provide a central location for entertainment, a flat iron building, located at a five-way intersection, was purchased in 1991 to serve as a stage. It was renovated over five years, and inaugurated with local talent, the Celestial Souls of Eldorado.

The festival kicks off on a Wednesday with a carnival, craft booths and food vendors, and local talent in the evening. On Thursday are several beauty pageants: Miss Teen Town & Country, T&C Princess, and Little Mr. & Miss Town & Country Days. On Friday, local gospel music is highlighted. On Saturday, festivities feature both a large and kiddy parade, and stage entertainment. Other activities during the festival include bingo, horse shoe and washer pitching, a bike race, a 5-K run, and an antique tractor show, which was added in 1999. The prestigious, but humorous award, "Ole Sorehead," is presented each year to an individual and organization for their outstanding service. Reference to the awardee is posted on a road sign as you enter city limits, which reads "4,536 friendly people and one ole sorehead."

A 1999 festival highlight was the recovery of the 1974 time capsule box that was buried to commemorate Eldorado's centennial celebration. The box's memorabilia comprised commemorative coins, a commemorative plate, photographs, old issues of the Eldorado Daily Journal, and a centennial hat. A millennium time capsule is planned to be buried in the same place during the 2000 festival.

Documentation includes five pages of text; newspaper clippings; photographs; and an Eldorado centennial coin, issued in 1973.

Originally submitted by: David D. Phelps, Representative (19th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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