CLAY CO. (KFDX KJTL) — The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused many events around the world to be canceled, postponed or altered to virtual events.
Now, that includes the annual Clay County Pioneer Reunion.
The Pioneer Reunion has been an event for 88 years where Clay County residents go back to the basics.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 89th annual celebration will definitely be one for the history books.
“The nine-man board who is the working arm of the Pioneer Association made the decision ‘Do we go with the event or not’,” Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said. “So they went with the hard call based on advice from doctors and folks that are involved with this to not have the parade this year and to cancel all the events downtown.”
The reunion honors the memory and accomplishments of the hardy emigrants who sought to make a haven and home for their families all those years ago.
Residents of Clay County plan to keep that spirit alive in different ways in 2020.
“Rather than register at the courthouse like you have always done, all you will have to do is drive out to the rodeo grounds,” Campbell said. “You will come in by the Pioneer Hall and register, get your book and button then drive up to the next building where they will give you a boxed lunch.”
The reunion also gives the county an economic boost every year and Economic Development Director Rick Langford said the pandemic has impacted Henrietta differently.
“Since COVID-19 began we have noticed an increase in our sales tax returns somewhere around over 20 percent per month over last year,” Henrietta Economic Development Director Rick Langford said.
Langford believes with people shopping closer to home the spike will help the city despite the effect it may have on the Pioneer Reunion and Clay County Judge Mike Campbell agrees.
“Now is not the time to be living in fear,” Campbell said. “We do not need to live in fear however we live with caution and use good judgment and have common sense, we will be OK.”
Campbell hopes residents keep that in mind to make sure a nearly century-old tradition continues for many more years.
You can watch the Pioneer Reunion live on Texoma’s Homepage Thursday, September 17 thru Saturday, September 19 beginning at 7 p.m.