GATESVILLE — Cannon fire and tomahawk throwing were just a small part of the inaugural Coryell County Heritage Day at Faunt Le Roy Park on Saturday.
Attendees shopped, took in history exhibits, ate, and observed organizers and volunteers who were dressed in 19th century attire, representing the time Coryell County was founded.
The local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of several groups to help organize the event, allowed attendees to fire blank shots from antique muskets and black powder pistols.
Dressed in Confederate battle attire, re-enactors from Mexia’s 12th Texas Artillery brought the past to life as they fired blanks from a Civil War-era cannon.
Games included bean bag toss and bobbing for apples, and various volunteers gave impromptu history lessons. An extension of the event, a historical tour of the Coryell County Courthouse, was offered from 11 a.m. to noon.
The Last Drive-In Picture Show movie theater in Gatesville provided cinema tickets at half-price.
Proceeds from the event’s silent auction will go to benefit charities, including assistance for local community service projects and scholarships for Coryell County high school seniors, organizers said.
Event vendor Kathy Benjamin, who sold landscape and landmark photographs, said things were slow in the morning, but she expected things to pick up in the evening.
“I know there’s a lot of other events going on in the area this weekend, and there were vendors who were kept away by the weather,” she said.
Event Chairman Kimberly Copeland agreed the turnout was a little discouraging. “Only half of our vendors showed” and though the weather at the event remained clear, “I got lots of calls about the weather,” she said, adding she believes attendance will improve next year.