Hometown Pride Tour: Doan's Crossing May Picnic - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Hometown Pride Tour: Doan's Crossing May Picnic

Source: KAUZ Source: KAUZ
VERNON, TX (KAUZ) -

One of the longest continuous running events in the state of Texas, happens near Vernon. It's the annual May Picnic. 
"My great grandfather C.F. Doan and his uncle came over in 1878 to set up a trading post from Ft. Sill," says Tip Igou. "They built an adobe house out there, and used it as a trading post. It's just been deep roots of Wilbarger County for a long time."
Tip Igou is sort of an expert on Doan's Crossing. It dates back to the late 1800's, and was the first town in Wilbarger County. Doan's Crossing was a trading post along the Western Trail. That's where cattle and horses were driven from Texas across then Indian Territory to market in Kansas and farther north. In 1884, the picnic started.  
"It started when my grandfather, his children, his wife and some neighborhood friends decided to go up to a place called Watts Grove. It's on the river, and have a picnic," says Tip Igou. "They did it the next year, and the next year and it just kept growing and growing and growing. It was a May Day celebration, but that's the way it started."
Close to 100 years ago, it was a huge event. 
"At one time in the 20s and 30s, the town took a vacation and that's where they went. There were thousands. Now, with the mobility around town, it's shrunk a little bit. We still have 200 to 300 people out there. It still brings families and the coronation of the people involved they bring their families from all around," said Igou.
Despite the number drop, the tradition lives on, and so does the coronation of the King and Queen who date back to 1911, and continues today. 
"As long as there are families that support it. When we ask people to be the King and Queen of the coronation, they're excited about it. They like it. It's an honor to be a member of that, or be a part of that heritage out there," said Igou.
The picnic is always the first Saturday in May. Doan's Crossing is about 12 miles north of Vernon on Farm-to-Market road 2916. Several miles off U.S. Highway 283.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright: KAUZ

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