Historical Society Presents Hospital Days Festival Program

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Large crowds gathered on Main Street in the early days of the Hospital Festival, sometimes called Frontier Days Festival.

By Sue Moore

Reliving the 1940s when thousands thronged to the streets of Vicksburg for some old-fashioned entertainment will be the subject of the Vicksburg Historical Society’s November program. A slide show presentation at 7 p.m. at the Community Center on Tuesday, November 17, will feature hundreds of the photos from these early festivals that raised money to support Franklin hospital.

Bonnie Holmes likens those early efforts at raising money for a good cause to the current capital campaign for trails and downtown redevelopment. “It’s the same spirit this community has shown with building the pavilion, and many other endeavors, when people come together for a higher purpose,” Holmes said. “These efforts bring a community together. Our instinct for giving and volunteering is very impressive. It’s the foundation of Vicksburg and its residents.”

To celebrate the history of the hospital festivals, sometimes called Frontier Days, Holmes, Karen Hammond, and Kristina Powers Aubry have been digging through the volumes of pictures that were produced by the Vicksburg Commercial and in particular Eric Zumwalt, who was a professional photographer in that era. The photos show men with beards, the Hospital Guild organizers, the box top ladies, and many of the other publicity stunts that were ordered up to bring people to the old elementary football field for entertainment after the parade. There was even a rodeo where the high school baseball field is now located. The public is encourage to attend the program and there will be time to talk about old memories of these days, Holmes said.

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