“A Grand Success”

News from The Cunningham Herald — October 4, 1888

The Cunningham Barbecue and Fair Among the Notable Events of the Season

Several Thousand People Present and All Pleased

Saturday dawned beautiful and full of promise.  It was to be a gala day for Cunningham and surrounding country and proved to be such beyond expectation.

The first gun was fired upon the arrival of the passenger train from the west and the cannonading was continued at intervals during the day.  The grounds between First Street and the railroad were neatly arranged and decorated.  The band and speakers stand was profusely decorated with flags and bunting.  The barbecue table, of which we will speak later, was 250 feet long.  The Exposition Hall was a beautiful sight with its streamers and flags, in charge of C. A. Carman.  The north side of the room was occupied by the agricultural department and presented a very creditable appearance of lasting benefit to this section of the country.  Such corn, beets, melons, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumbers, etc., are not excelled anywhere.  The ladies fancy department in charge of Mrs. Dr. Cloyd, Miss Alma Hicks and Mrs. J. Geo. Smith assisted by C. A. Carmen, was grand beyond description.

Upon the arrival of the west bound train bearing the excursionists, accompanied by the Kingman Silver Cornet Band, the excitement commenced.  Amid the firing of cannons, the great concourse of people in waiting, headed by the band, marched around the square to the stand.  As speakers failed to arrive owing to missed connections and other circumstances, a few remarks were made by Jos. McPeek stating the program and extending a hearty welcome in behalf of Cunningham and the surrounding country to everyone.

This was followed by several fine selections by the band and an interesting game of base ball between the Cunningham Reds and the Mead Creek Club which resulted in a victory for the home nine by a score of 11 to 10.  As the noon hour approached and while the crowds were visiting the Exposition Hall and stock departments the committee in charge of refreshments began loading down the immense table with good, substantial home cooked food.  When the table was set it was a sight to behold, over 250 feet of as fine a spread as ever graced a King’s barbecue.  It was a grand exhibit of generosity and liberality which will not soon be forgotten.  Dinner was finally announced and in less than an hour over one thousand people were fed at the barbecue table to say nothing of the crowds who were scattered in every direction taking their meals privately.

In the afternoon the grand lot sale took place, W. W. Woolf acting as auctioneer and several hundred dollars worth of lots were disposed of.  Among the fortunate purchasers were the following gentlemen: E. A. Crump, E. Rittenour, W. W. Woolf, E. B. Behel, R. D. Adams, Frank Foster, A. Lake, Joseph McPeek and others.

When the freight arrived from the east which was to bring the speakers, the mass of humanity moved toward the depot to receive them.  Hon. F. E. Gillett was on board but Mr. Lydecker for some unknown reason failed to connect.  After the orator was escorted through the Exposition Hall and stock departments, he was introduced to the multitude and addressed them in a pleasant strain on the phenomenal growth and prosperity of the great southwest and this section in particular.  The speaker was followed by baseball, footraces, horse races, potato races, rope pulling and other interesting and exciting pasttimes were indulged in.

The day closed with a happy, well pleased, highly satisfied and good natured crowd, loud in their praises of the management for the manner in which it was conducted.  In the evening dancing was indulged in for several hours.


Courtesy of the Cunningham Museum Collection

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