Residents of Red Oak and the surrounding area are preparing to celebrate the city’s history with the 27th annual Founders Day festivities.

This year’s event begins with a free family street dance at Main Street Plaza from 7-10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, with a parade at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, and the festival from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Red Oak City Park.

“Our festivities will start with the parade, which will begin from Main Street Plaza (State Highway 342 and Louise Ritter), travel down Main Street to Red Oak Road to Live Oak Road and end at the city park, where there will be tons of booths for arts and crafts and foods such as roasted ears of corn, funnel cakes, barbeque, snow cones and more,” Red Oak Area Chamber president Dana Rodes said. “We are expecting to have over 80 booths this year, including booths from the Red Oak Firefighters Association, the Pink Pig by popular demand, the Red Oak Police Department and the Red Oak Fire Department, One of Kind Pony Party and several others. The chamber will also be selling T-shirts for $10 at the festival and before. They (T-shirts) have very lovely logos this year, thanks to Aaron’s Designs.”

Several historical demonstrations are planned in support of this year’s theme, “A Step Back in Time.” The planned demonstrations include blacksmith John White, owner of Ole Village Blacksmith in Mansfield, who will be firing up his coal foundery and hammering out items for children while using a hammer and anvil; the Buffalo Creek gunfighters of Back in Time Mercantile Store, who will have live gunfight demonstrations and also a booth explaining the importance of gun safety to children; Henry Crawford, curator of Texas Tech Historical Museum, who will do living history from the 1860s; and Gail Goth, who will do Civil War ladies demonstrations.

“Although we will have first ever historical presentations by different guests, I think our largest attraction will come from our first classic car show, sponsored by Midlothian Classic Wheels,” Rodes said. “We expect to have at least 60 unique vehicles on display.”

Best live band in Texas honoree Wade Hatton and Texas Hat Band will provide entertainment, with their appearance sponsored by Fred’s of Red Oak Steakhouse.

There will also be live performances by the Red Oak ISD high school marching band, cheerleaders, Girl Scouts of Red Oak, dancers from Dance Expressions and karate demonstrations by Martial Arts Experience.

The Girl Scouts will also do a fashion show featuring 100 years of uniforms on loan from the Girl Scout Museum.

Children’s activities including hair painting, bounce houses, a climbing wall, a giant tiger slide and a dunking booth by the Red Oak Band Boosters.

Rodes said she is looking forward to the event.

“We just have more exciting attractions this year than ever before and it’s just a really exciting time for the whole community,” she said. “We had over 3,000 people last year, which was the best turnout ever and we’re hoping to make it better this year. We’re really hoping to see everyone there.”

Southwest is sponsoring the parade, with registration forms due Wednesday, Sept. 5.

For more information, contact Andy Bell at (214) 769-0689. There is no entry fee.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahaciedailylight.com.