— By BRIAN SMITH
After a successful first year, Downtown Heritage Stampede looks to expand during its Oct. 12 event.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the downtown square, will continue to focus on the western aspects of the city and how it came to be, according to Main Street Manager Kim Thieme.
“We’ve had people asking us to have an event where we could focus on the heritage of the city and area, which is how all of this got started,” Thieme said. “It had an enthusiastic response from those that attended last year and we just want to continue to grow it bigger and better.”
A couple of new events and displays will help keep things fresh and interesting, including a living history demonstration of pre-1840 Native Americans in Parker County. Thieme said some of the things planned include a tomahawk throwing demonstration, the making of flint and yarn spinning.
Thieme said the tomahawk throwing will be done in a cordoned-off area against a building to keep observers and passersby safe but still enable those young and old to see what living in the county was like at that time.
A chuck wagon demonstration is also a new addition. While no food will be prepared, it can give an idea of what people ate at the time and a look inside one of the vehicles.
With its tremendous success at the 2013 Blooms Festival, one Parker County Courthouse tour will be offered at 10 a.m., Thieme said.
The new events will be incorporated with many of the successful parts of last year’s event, including two performances of Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band, a 28-piece period-specific band to commemorate Buffalo Bill’s stop in Weatherford in 1915. The Legends of Texas, who are the featured entertainers at the Fort Worth Stockyards, will also be performing throughout the day.
A full entertainment schedule is being finalized and should be released within the next week to 10 days, Thieme said.
Along with the Wild West aspects of the event come the vendors. About 40 are planned, including a specific antique alley, which has a dual purpose.
“We want to put a bit of focus on many of our downtown merchants and the work they do, so we created a special section for them to display their items,” Thieme said. “It’s a chance to showcase some of the amazing antiques we have in town and how much a part they are of the city.”
A special Kiddie Korral is in place with a dress-up contest and stick horse races planned in the area around York Avenue and Dallas Street with prizes given away in both events. While a few weeks early, a special downtown trick or treat is also scheduled.
Participating businesses marked with a special pumpkin outside the door will be giving out candy to children in costume during the event. Businesses will be located in all four quadrants of the square, along North Main Street and York Avenue.
“We know it’s a little early, but it will give kids a chance to try on the costume and it’s another way for the family to have a little fun,” Thieme said.
For more information on the festival or to become a vendor, call Thieme at 817-598-4034.