Pageant revived after 10 year hiatus
The Fredericksburg Easter Fires Pageant will burn again after a 10-year absence. The story of bunnies, colored eggs, Indians, and pioneers stretches back to 1846 and beyond.
The local legend begins with the men of the German settlement away negotiating a peace treaty with the Comanche. Indian scouts kept watch on the village and communicated with other tribesmen by signal fires on Cross Mountain (pictured) and other nearby hills.
A pioneer mother soothed her frightened children by telling them that the fires were the Easter bunny cooking and coloring eggs. With the exception of the local addition of the Comanche, the story is identical to an ancient custom practiced in northwestern Germany.
Dorman Schmidt, coordinator of this year's event, said that at its peak the pageant had 600 participants. After the 2004 pageant was rained out, the volunteers were burned out with the work and expense of the grand performance.
The pageant is being revived as part of the Gillespie County Fair's 125th anniversary. Schmidt says there will be lots of kids and grandkids of families that had made this an annual tradition from 1948 to 2003. "We're going to try to do the pageant every two or three years," Schmidt says, "so it stays a special event."
The Fredericksburg Easter Fires Pageant will be held on March 30 at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds. For information, go to www.gillespiefair.com.
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