The Wise Times quoted Sue Cocanougher in 1969 stating, “There are two big special occasions each year, Christmas holidays and the Reunion.” Sue was referencing Wise County Old Settlers Reunion located annually the last week of July at the Decatur, Texas Reunion grounds.
The last week of July is quickly approaching! To all those who are familiar with this time of year, you know what that means. This is the time of year that the whole county looks forward to. The last week of July is when the entire county becomes one large family with music, games, and food. This year the reunion officially starts Monday, July 22nd and continues until Sunday, July 28th.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Old Settler’s Reunion, this is a celebration of all the history of Wise County, Texas. This reunion is the oldest annual gathering in Wise County history. It officially started as a place for veterans and their families to meet up under the full moon in the 1860’s. Some say that the Reunion actually started before the 1860s when farmers would meet up for picnics, bonfires and revival before fall harvest.
Decatur, Texas and the surrounding areas become ghost towns around this time of year. Decaturites and the surrounding community members along with their families flock to the Reunion grounds where many stay in cabins for the entire week. Adults and children alike sleep inside and outside of cabins. Beds often line out under the stars for children and adults to sleep the night away. As you walk the dusty streets, you will smell barbeque, fish fries, and fair foods mingling together. Turn outs fluctuate between five and twelve thousand people depending on the year. It is a true reunion in every sense of the word.
Every year there is a fair that takes up a large portion of the grounds. There are rides, games, and stalls selling goods and food. People porch sit to greet those walking past and take walks to greet those who are porch sitting. Ladies dress up in their best summer frocks while men shine their boots to a gloss finish and wear their best jeans. In many ways, taking a stroll through the reunion grounds is like stepping back in time when neighbors greeted each other by name.
There is always live music with a dance floor. One of the biggest activities that people look forward to is the cabin decorating contest. Contestants go all out to out decorate their cabin. This year is the third official annual Washers tournament. Competition is high and the winning team gains the title of the Lord of the Washer Rings. The winners of both competitions gain major yearlong bragging rights.
Whether traveling to join your family for the week, meet long lost family you have never met before, or just to join Wise County for your family vacation, Wise County is bound to welcome you with open arms. MD Resort in Aurora, Texas is the perfect place to stay during your vacation to the Decatur Reunion grounds. Whether staying for only a night or the whole week, MD Resort provides you the comfort of a cool comfortable place to retire to at the end of a great day out with friends and family. Located a short drive away from Decatur reunion grounds, MD Resort is the perfect place for you to retire for the night.