The 52nd Pioneer Day will be staged Friday and Saturday in St. Paul, with music, dancing, the annual parade and more planned.
St. Paul Mayor Nina Selz said the weekend will include food, a special benefit breakfast, live music and more.
“It actually starts Friday night. They’ll start about 6 o’clock,” Selz said of the music and dancing. “The booths will be set up on Friday. The stage will be set up Friday night and dancing will go until about 10 or 11.”
The nonprofit Pioneer Day Committee, headed by Gary Whittmore, is organizing the event. Whittmore said the music will start with the Pense Brothers of Mountainburg. The Covered Wagon Band will play at 8 p.m.
Those attending should bring their own chairs, Whittmore said.
The St. Paul Public Library will have a book sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Selz said new booths expected this year are Hill Family Soaps and Julie’s Perks for coffee lovers.
“The big day is Saturday. The booths will be open probably by 8 o’clock. There’ll be arts and crafts ... there’s a mixture of things.”
The special breakfast will benefit a St. Paul resident who is battling cancer, Selz said. Mama Marie Getz is heading up the breakfast and will cook “her famous biscuits and sausage gravy.” Bacon and other items also will be available.
Plates will be $5 each in the Town Hall. Food will be served starting around 7 a.m. Saturday.
Music on Saturday will start at 9 a.m. with the Crosses Community Church, Whittmore said. The annual parade will start around 11 a.m. at the old Community Building and go north to Highway 16, then east to Locust and back around, Selz said. “There will be horses and there will be politicians in it, and antique cars, motorcycles, things of that nature,” she said. Whittmore said anyone can enter the parade with a horse, antique car or motorcycle.
“You bet, just show up that morning and be ready,” he said. The parade will be followed by the annual chicken lunch in the school cafeteria and the music of Danny Mullins, the St. Paul Choir, and at 1 p.m. the Spoke Plant Darlings will perform.
The St. Paul Volunteer Fire Department will help set up booths and direct traffic during the parade.
“Saturday there will be different bands playing. There’ll be a mixture of different things,” Selz said. “Maybe some of the school children. It’s just a hodge-podge all day.”
Dancing will take place in the playground.
The FFA at St. Paul Schools will be selling door hangers during Pioneer Day. Single-sided will be $20, with double-sided hangers $40.
Selz also invited all who attend this weekend to look at the new memorial at Town Hall. The memorial – a large rock with a plaque and photograph – honors Marion Bayles. The Bayles family years ago donated land to the volunteer fire department. The heirs presently own the field where the Dollar General is to be built, Selz said.
St. Paul Schools have sold T-shirts for the event, with proceeds going to FBLA and FCCLA student organizations. A few of the T-shirts also will be sold this weekend. Whittmore said he enjoys the community event each year.
“I always look forward to it.”