Hats off to General Crook

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

Call Tim Brown to learn more about the Mule Show, seen here on "Deek." Gen. Crook, aka Fort Verde Ranger Dennis Lockhart, is left.

First and foremost, there’s the annual Pioneer Picnic that brings back old timers to Camp Verde, where they grew up. It’s a great opportunity to talk to those responsible for or immediate relatives of pioneers that settled the Verde Valley. The picnic is Sunday at noon.

Inside the Community Center, you’ll find the popular Verde Valley Gun and Knife Show, and outside there’s a terrific tractor-and-engine show featuring lots of antique machines. Both events continue throughout the weekend. There are also tractor pulls and tractor parades on both days.

At Fort Verde, there is the annual birthday party for General Crook including a birthday cake Saturday at noon. The fort is again hosting, the Mule Packing and Trails Competition, back by popular demand for the second year in a row. It includes a Youth Trail Class, Adult Trail Class, Harness Mule Obstacle, Coon Jumping, Three-Man Pack Race, Barrel Races, Harness Demonstration and Western Pleasure events. There’s also a presentation of colors and grand entry. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the Fort Verde State Park Museum to learn more bout area history for a small $3 entry fee.

All the weekend events are either inside the community center, at Fort Verde State Park or on the soccer field behind town hall. Because of the roadway construction all over Camp Verde, grab a shuttle from nearby Bashas’ Supermarket inside the Outpost Mall to make your visit easier.

Four groups act as this year’s sponsors— the Camp Verde Historical Society, the Friends of Historic Fort Verde, Fort Verde State Park and Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Department.

Saturday:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Gun and Knife Show (Community Center)

9 a.m. Mule packing and trails competitions (Fort Verde)

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Tractor and Engine Show (Soccer Field)

9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Continuous entertainment (Soccer Field)

10 a.m.: Tractor Pull (Soccer Field)

11:30 a.m.: Tractor Parade (Soccer Field)

12:30 p.m.: Birthday Cake with General Crook (Fort Verde)

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Chuckwagon Dinner, $10 advance sale (Soccer Field)

7-10 p.m.: Dance featuring Jess & Jessica (Soccer Field)

Sunday:

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Gun and Knife Show (Community Center)

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Tractor and Engine Show (Soccer Field)

9 a.m.: Chuckwagon Breakfast, $5 (Soccer Field)

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Entertainment (Soccer Field)

10 a.m.: Mule Packing and Trail Competition (Fort Verde)

10 a.m.: Tractor Pull (Soccer Field)

11:30 a.m.: Tractor Parade (Soccer Field)

Noon: Pioneer Picnic (Soccer Field); $5 Dutch-oven dinner or bring potluck

Four groups act as sponsors — the Camp Verde Historical Society, the Friends of Historic Fort Verde, Fort Verde State Park and Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information or for chuckwagon dinner or breakfast tickets, call Parks and Recreation Department at 567-0535, ext. 135. You can also purchase tickets at the gun show. For details on the Mule Show, call Tim Brown at 567-9376 or Lynn Reddell at 567-3906.

PHOTO: Pioneer #1 CV (guys cooking in Dutch ovens)

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

Lift a lid of one of these Dutch ovens and find cowboy beans, cornbread and peach cobbler. CV Historical Society members, Dean Despain (left) and Ernie Batcheller, tended the fire at the 2002 Pioneer Picnic.

PHOTO: Pioneer #2 CV (woman driving tractor)

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

Then-Mayor Brenda Hauser drove this John Deere Model "B" in last year’s Tractor Parade. Owner Jack Coleman of Camp Verde said the vintage tractor was shipped to Arizona in 1935.

If you go . . .

What: Pioneer Days and General Crook’s Birthday; Gun and Knife Show; Mule Show and Pack Competition

When: Saturday Sept. 13; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 14; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Downtown Camp Verde at Main and Hollamon Streets (Community Center, soccer field, Fort Verde)

Parking: Take a shuttle from Bashas’ (650 W. Finnie Flats Road)

Cost: Many events free, charge for Gun/Knife Show, Chuckwagon Dinner, etc.

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