It has been many years since the Old Settlers Reunion has had temperatures not hovering around the 100 degree mark. For most of the four-day event cooler weather prevailed and people turned out in larger numbers than in recent years.
Old Settlers Reunion Board of Directors President Joe Wayne Reynolds was pleased with this year’s event. “It was great this year and the weather cooperated with us,” Reynolds said. “Every night was good. We had better numbers and more each night than we have had in previous years. People were very complimentary this year. I have not heard anything negative.”
Reynolds heard from one local family. “I had one family from Quitman tell me how much they really enjoyed it this year. The man said it was the best Old Settlers in years from the rides to the entertainment. He was also impressed with the carnival workers and how friendly, helpful and clean-cut they all were,” Reynolds aid. “We were concerned about the rides since we were using someone new and we were able to get them just recently, but it went well.”
Reynolds also said Hip Hop Amusements owner Dave Hill, Gilmer, was impressed with Quitman, especially the kids. “The owner of the carnival told me that from the teens to even the younger kids, they were very polite and were good getting on and off the rides. He said several of the kids thanked his workers after being on a ride,” Reynolds added. “He is looking forward to coming back to Quitman.”
Reynolds said a change in vendor placement helped drive some of the crowd toward the pavilion. “We changed the vendor aisle so it would go in the direction of the pavilion to at least give people the opportunity to see and hear what was going on before they made their way to the carnival,” Reynolds admitted. “I know the Bulldog Athletic Booster Club sold out of tacos every night. The first couple of nights they sold out very early.”
Old Settlers board secretary-treasurer Keith Haisten echoed Reynolds’ thoughts. “The new carnival operator was very complimentary of our kids and the community as a whole. And I also had compliments from people who went to the carnival about how they thought the company and their employees were also polite and professional,” Haisten noted. “I thought it went really well with even the weather cooperating. I understand the Bingo went real well. I only worked the final night and it was great.”
This was the 115th Old Settlers Reunion and it remains one of the oldest continuing festivals in Texas.