Stagecoach Days in back this year, and it’s coming to Marshall this weekend – kicking off Friday and running through Sunday with a full three days of planned events.
The annual festival is being brought back to life this year thanks to the efforts of Buddy Power Promotions, a nonprofit organization focused on the promotion of local groups and events, which is run by founder Buddy Power.
“It has been really just a lot of fun to organize,” Power said, “There are things I know now we should have done early, some things that are just atrocious timing, but we can have that all ready for next year.”
The events will be focused in several separate areas: Peter Whetstone Square and Telegraph Park in downtown Marshall, The Starr Family Home State Historical Site, the Marshall Depot and at Josey Ranch.
Community members can expect an appearance from the traditional Stagecoach in downtown Marshall, as well as stagecoach rides. The event will also feature a petting zoo and animal adoption event in downtown, which will both run for the full three-day period.
Performances by the Buffalo Soldiers, a historical group of Black soldiers, will be held during the event. Community members can also expect a number of presentations from the Caddo Nation, as well as historically relevant plays presented throughout the event in various locations.
Friday’s events will start at noon with the Miss Loose Caboose performance at the Marshall Depot. Community member and volunteer Fran Hurley will be running the event.
Additional events will take place at Josey Ranch on Friday, including live music and a shoot out reenactment, according to Power.
At 10 am on Saturday, the Stagecoach Days parade will kick off in downtown Marshall, starting on Crockett Street and making its ways around downtown. The parade will include dancers, reenactor gunslingers, vintage vehicles and assorted other groups.
Additionally, a trail ride down Stagecoach Road will take place at 1:30 pm, with any and all trail riders interested in participating in the event requested to contact ride chairperson Vickie Ives at (903) 407-0298 before Saturday to participate.
Ives said that riders should meet for the trail ride by 1 pm at the parking lot of Merrytime Products on Harris Lake Road to participate.
“The old Stagecoach Road is one of Marshall’s truly historic routes. The old roadbed is still dirt just as it was when it was the main route from Marshall to Shreve’s Port as it was known then. Meandering through the forest past where Popular Street becomes Harris Lake Road. At the sharp curve where Harris Lake (and the blacktop) turns left, the Stagecoach Road continues east, a lane of red clay with barely room for two vehicles to pass one another, ”Ives said.
There is limited parking for the trail ride, so those who are signed up will have priority to use it, according to Ives, who added that in case of severe weather, the ride will be rescheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Ives also requested that all riders bring brooms and shovels from home to clean up the parking lot after their mounts before they leave.
“Participants should try to come up with comfortable Old West costuming if they can, and they may also want to bring their cameras to record the sights as they ride the old trail, overshadowed by huge trees that grow high on the towering clay banks on each side of the road, ”Ives said.
Additionally, Ives said that riders may want to bring money for soft drinks and other concessions that will be available where Stagecoach Road meets Pine Bluff Road, where riders will take a break to let their horses rest.
The whole ride is around 10 miles long.
Children will also get the chance to participate in a stick horse race at the Starr Home on Saturday, the prizes of which will feature certificates for free trail rides.
A presentation of a play showcasing the shooting of Maurice Barrymore in Marshall will also take place during the event, planned for Saturday at the Depot. A street dance will round out events Saturday night at Telegraph Park.
Additionally during the event, community members will be able to browse a vendors market, which will feature over 60 locally owned vendors selling a variety of wares throughout the event, including home goods, food, crafts, and more.
Rolling Thunder, the historical cannon, will also be in Marshall during the event.
Community members will be able to pick up a full list of scheduled events, as well as information on their exact location during the weekend long festival at the information booth, according to Power.