By LIBBY CLUETT
Upcoming events on April 27 will provide opportunities for areas residents and visitors to better understand Palo Pinto County’s ranching heritage.
Mark the calendar for a day full of learning, traveling around the county, food and fun. Here’s what’s happening:
• The Palo Pinto County Historic and Wildflower Tour will offer a look at local history and wildflowers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The tour features eight historical sites – many open just for this event. Sites include: in Palo Pinto, the Old Jail Museum and Lover’s Retreat; just north of Gordon, the Johnson League Ranch; the Belding Ranch, near Possum Kingdom Lake; and, in Strawn, the restored Opal Guest Chapel (the former Presbyterian Church), the Stuart Estate, Strawn Museum and Palo Pinto Mountains State Park – the state’s newest park.
This is a self-paced driving tour allows participants to visit all or some of the sites in any order. Tickets will be available at all eight locations on the day of the tour.
Tickets for the tour are $10 for general admission and $2 for children, ages 6-15. Advance tickets are available at the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce or the Old Jail Museum in Palo Pinto.
For information, visit the Palo Pinto County Historic Commission’s Facebook page or website at www.palopintohistory.com.
• In conunction with the historical tour, the Strawn Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first “Bash on the Bricks” festival at the City Pavilion next to Strawn City Hall. The festival will feature an arts-and-crafts fair, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a vintage car show, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and food.
• Cap off the day at the Texas Frontier Trails’ annual Chuckwagon Cook-Off.
On Friday night, there will be a street dance in Western Heritage Park, with the Taylor Hickey Band.
On Saturday, beginning around noon, the public is invited to come watch the chuckwagon contestants prepare their meals.
The event includes lots of other activities, including a dutch oven cooking demonstration and recognizes many of the county’s ranches.
Eating will begin around 4:30 p.m.
Admission is $5 per person to Friday’s dance or $20 for the whole weekend event – Friday dance and Saturday chuck wagon meal.
Western Heritage Park, formerly Pollard Park, is located at 3099 N. Oak Ave., in Mineral Wells.