By Olivia Harnack and Drew Lawson
The Record-Times 

Pioneer Days brings fun, history to town

Festivities begin Friday morning


Last updated 7/13/2023 at 8:12am

DAVENPORT — If one is looking for activities in the city this weekend, they’re in luck as the 51st annual Pioneer Days gets underway Friday, July 14 and runs through Sunday, July 16.

The Kids Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Lions Club and organized by Bob Guhlke, runs from 7 a.m. until noon at City Park Friday. The event is open to children of all ages.

10 fish will be tagged – if caught, they will be the winning catches.

Participants must be 14 years or younger as of July 14. All participants must be registered and checked in prior to fishing.

Registration closed Monday July 10.

All participants are limited to two fish and must be caught in the designated area of the derby using rod and reel.

All fish must also be caught and retrieved by the participants and adults may assist with pole set up, bating and casting.

Nets are allowed to help bring the fish over the rail and use of treble hooks is prohibited.

The Chalk Art Contest opens for sign-ins at 9 a.m. at Wheatland Bank.

Assigned numbers will be given out to a corresponding numbered space on the sidewalk in the center of town, Pioneer Days chairwoman Dawn Canfield said.

Competitors can bring their own chalk or ask for chalk at check in.

First- and second places will be awarded to the following age groups: 1-5, 6-9, 10-14, 15-17, and 18 and older.

The Davenport Library will open for a book sale as vendors continue sales throughout the weekend until 4 p.m.

Lincoln County Museum opens its doors from noon to 4 p.m. with free admission to anyone interested in learning about the history of Davenport and Lincoln County.

Friends of Davenport Fireman’s Fund Beer Garden opens at 5 p.m. for the adults hoping to kick back. The Beer Garden is open until midnight at the fire station.

Families can gather with children of all ages at the park for a movie night at 9 p.m.

Vendor and craft booths open bright and early on Saturday, July 15, at 9 a.m. At the same time the Road Knights Car Show kicks off showcasing beautiful cars and more.

The Pioneer Days Parade, which is sponsored by the Lions Club, starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 15.

Check-in starts at 8 a.m. at the Strate Funeral Home parking lot along 10th Street and Morgan Street.

All floats, vehicles and equestrian entries need to be in the assigned staging areas and ready for judging by 10 a.m.

The Parade will begin on Morgan Street along U.S. Highway 2, and 10th Street. Floats, walkers, and cars will travel the route to its end at Harker Street.

The Kiddie Parade precludes the main parade at 10:45 a.m.

Morgan Street will be closed from Fourth Street to 11th Street from 10:45 a.m. to about 11:30 a.m., parade organizer Jessica Smith said.

Line-up begins at 10 a.m. in the funeral home parking lot.

This year was the first year in Pioneer Days history where the people of Lincoln County had the opportunity to vote on the Grand Marshal.

“Normally we have the Chamber decide,” said Canfield. “We put it through Facebook and the website, and we had quite a few votes go around.”

By the therefore popular demand, longtime locals and Care and Share volunteers Jerry and Cindy Warner won the honor and will be parading down Morgan Street Saturday.

Visitors will have the chance to learn how to play Horseshoes at Lincoln County Museum at 11:30 a.m. The game will be available until 1 p.m. Also at the Museum, the Barrett Whitmore Group will play original Americana music from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Starting at 2 p.m. at the museum, visitors will have the chance to try and use an original vintage butter churner.

Those hungry for a meal can visit City Park for a Lions Club sponsored barbeque lunch at noon.

Against the Grain will perform live music at the park. This year’s live music is spnosored by Wheatland Veterinary Clinic.

The Davenport Water Park opens its doors at 3 p.m. to anyone daring to compete in the town-wide Belly Flop Contest, organized by Tim Hosking.

The Beer Garden opens once again with more live music on Saturday featuring Jesse Quandt at 7 p.m.

The 4-H Club’s Breakfast fundraiser at the Memorial Hall opens at 7 a.m. Sunday for anyone hungry for breakfast and coffee. Pancakes, French Toast and fully customizable omelets will be available for purchase along with several sides and drinks.

Returning from a two-year hiatus, the Kids Carnival begins at noon Sunday in City Park. However, the Pioneer Plod 5K Fun Run, typically held Saturday morning, has been canceled.


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