From the Dogwood Festival Publicity Committee
WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Dogwood Festival Western Weekend is coming up on March 25-26. This is the second weekend of the three weekend-long festival, and its roots run deep. In 1958, 75 horseback riders formed on Highway 190 West at the Dickens County Line Store and rode to Woodville in time to join the Dogwood Festival Parade. This was the beginning of the now famous Western Weekend. This tradition continued for 10 years. Due to the increasing numbers of horseback riders who were coming to Woodville to join the Parade, the Trail Bosses of the various Trail Rides requested a parade of their own.
As a consequence, the first Tyler County Dogwood Festival Western Weekend was held on March 23, 1968. In addition to the Western Day Parade, the day’s activities included a special show at the 4-H and FFA Arena near Woodville with performances by riding clubs and drill teams.
A Western Teenage Dance and Western Adult Dance were held that evening. The regular Dogwood Festival was held the following Saturday, March 30, 1968. The Western Trailride Parades at one time included more than 1,500 horses and has featured famous groups and celebrities.
In an attempt to garner more participation, The Western Weekend Parade has now evolved to include floats and tractors. FFA Chapters across the area, 4-H Clubs, area feed stores, and any other businesses are encouraged to participate.
Contact Martin Spurlock, director of Western Weekend, for more information. To complete parade entry forms, go to the Tyler County Dogwood website at www.tylercountydogwoodfestival.org.