Pioneer Days returns to Sam Smith Park Sept. 3-6
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 23, 2010 | 2800 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Meagan Pelfrey and her daughter, Peyton, wave to the crowd as they ride the kids’ train at last year’s Pioneer Days Festival at Sam Smith Park. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Meagan Pelfrey and her daughter, Peyton, wave to the crowd as they ride the kids’ train at last year’s Pioneer Days Festival at Sam Smith Park. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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In its second year at the Cartersville venue, Pioneer Days is expected to draw 20,000 festival-goers to Sam Smith Park Sept. 3 to 6.

Along with providing family-oriented entertainment, such as carnival rides, arts-and-crafts vendors, concerts and a fireworks display, the four-day event will serve as the lone fundraiser for Acworth Allatoona Charities Inc. Last year's offering raised about $11,000 that was dispersed to those in need in Bartow, north Cobb, Paulding and Cherokee counties.

"We don't have enough people out in the community helping the community, and we've been doing this 30 years now," said Dallas Godfrey, event chairman for Pioneer Days and president of Acworth Allatoona Charities. "There's a bona fide need in the community. We have no federal grants. We have nothing like that.

"We're sort of the immediate help like if a family is down on their luck and they need some groceries we'll go buy them some groceries immediately or if they need some help paying a light bill, gas bill, whatever, we will try and jump in and help with that as much as we can. We can't go and pay a $1,000 bill because if we did that we wouldn't be able to help a lot of people. But usually, we limit it to about $250 per family so that we can spread it out over the community."

To be based at Sam Smith Park, 1155 Douthit Ferry Road, Pioneer Days will be Friday, Sept. 3, from 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 4, from noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 5, from noon to 11 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 6, from noon to 10 p.m.

Some of the event's highlights will be a parade in downtown Cartersville Sept. 4 and a concert featuring the Atlanta Rhythm Section that evening at 9:15, and a fireworks display Sept. 6 at dusk.

With members of the Tuskegee Airmen serving as its grand marshal, the parade entries will depart Tabernacle Baptist Church parking lot at 10 a.m. The parade's route will continue by turning right on Church Street, left on Bartow Street, left on Main Street, left on Stonewall Street, left on East Church Street, ending at the church, 112 E. Church St.

"I am even more so excited this year than last year because now I have seen what a quality, well-run, clean, good event [Pioneer Days] is for Cartersville," said Ellen Archer, executive director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We had the opportunity to work with the coordinators. We thought it was going to be a really good event and now we know it's going to be a really good event. So, it's all the better."

Admission to Pioneer Days will be $5 per person and there will be no charge for children 11 and younger. Daily wrist bands will be sold for $20, granting individuals unlimited rides.

For more information, a parade application or a schedule of the festival's activities, visit www.pioneerdaysga.com.