Pioneer Days relive Camp Verde's rich historic past

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

CAMP Verde has a colorful rich historical past. This weekend's General Crook-Pioneer Days reflect its early days.

Enjoy Dutch-oven cooking, an art show, a 9-11 remembrance ceremony, a mule show, Native American entertainment, an antique engine show, tractor competitions, and a birthday party for a famous Fort Verde officer.

All events take place Saturday and Sunday in downtown Camp Verde in and around the Community Center and at the fort.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fun kicks off early Saturday morning with the mule youth and adult trail rides following by mule competitions throughout the weekend on the fort's parade grounds. For tractor enthusiasts, there are tractor pull competitions both days at the soccer field behind town hall, including a kiddy pull and an antique tractor/engine show. A special tractor parade is Saturday at 1 p.m.

Because 9-11 is this weekend, there will be a special Patriot's Day Remembrance Ceremony at noon, also at the soccer field, and at nearby Fort Verde there's a birthday party for General Crook at the same time.

The Dutch Oven Cook-off starts Saturday morning with judging in the afternoon followed by a special awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Enjoy Dutch-oven cooking samplings for just $1, plus a Dutch-oven dinner/dance at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at $10 (reservations preferred).

This year, more emphasis is being placed on the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Enjoy Indian bird dancing and singing as well as an Indian-Western Art Show for a $2 admission fee/kids free. The art show will be held inside the Community Center Gym on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There's will be a full-service beer garden on the grounds and fun-filled music throughout the weekend.

The annual Pioneer's Picnic Potluck will not be part of this year's Pioneer Days, but rather a week later at Montezuma Well. The Camp Verde Historical Society has decided to re-instate the picnic to its old tradition loved by so many. Questions about the picnic can be directed to Dorothy Wood at 567-3921.

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