Posted on March 21, 2018
By Tia Lyons
Dinner on the Grounds and Trail Ride is set for March 30 and 31.
The biannual event — held each spring and fall — is presented by The Quilted History, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to highlight and preserve black history, culture and heritage.
Lineup for the trail ride will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Junction City Park on U.S. 167 in Junction City.
Pull-out is scheduled for 10 a.m., with horses and horse-drawn wagons and buggies proceeding 11 miles north on U.S. 167 to 2277 Iron Mountain Road for Dinner on the Grounds.
Immediately following the Trail Ride, the Hog Riders Harley Davidson motorcycle group, which is made up of riders from Arkansas and Louisiana, will leave the Arkansas Welcome Center en route to the Iron Mountain Road site, said Carolyn Williams, event organizer and curator, manager and owner of The Quilted History.
Dinner on the Grounds and Trail Ride is in its 19th year, and Williams said the event has steadily grown, drawing larger crowds each year.
Williams said the spring event typically brings more people than in the fall.
She noted that the October 2017 Dinner drew the largest fall crowd to date.
“One drawback this year is it's the day before Easter, so I’m not sure how many are going to come,” Williams said of the spring event.
However, she said groups from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama and North Carolina have already confirmed that they will be attending this year, noting that many of them are repeat visitors.
Dinner on the Grounds will include activities that have come to define the event over the years — wash pot cracklings, Frost Famous Tea Cakes, hay rides, a lye soap-making demonstration, a Brush Arbor service and guest speakers.
Entertainment will be provided by DJ Fly of Diebel, Texas, and DJ Bradley of Longview, Texas.
The Iron Mountain Road property is also the site of the The Quilted History Museum, which displays such artifacts as quilts, a laughing barrel, chains and other devices that were used to shackle African American slaves, and old letters and documents.
The mule skinner for the trail ride will be Henry Rochell, and Charles Phillips and Cletis Charles will serve as trail boss and chief scout, respectively.
Scouts will be Williams and Theodis Cornelius, and wagon bosses will include Jewel Smith and Zummie Law. Serving as greeter for the event will be “Bad Money” L. Morris.
The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome, Williams said. For more information, call Williams at 870-881-0443 or 417-217-2986.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews. com .