The Old Settlers Day County Reunion will be held Sunday near Arnett in Ellis County.

Connie Shoaf, a spokeswoman for the event, said the reunion dates back over 100 years.

“It was started before Oklahoma became a state back in 1907,” Shoaf said.

Shoaf said the reunion will be held at her father Rex Holloway’s property, about 11 miles south and four miles west of Arnett at what used to be the city of Grand.

“[The reunion] started when Grand was a town . . . it is now a ghost town,” Shoaf said.

Grand, a town on the South Canadian River, was once the seat of the now-defunct Day County.

Shoaf said most attendees are descendants of early settlers to the area.

“It used to be a lot more old-timers than there are now,” Shoaf said. “There used to be ones that had lived there, that had experienced the town for themselves.”

Most of those old enough to remember those times, Shoaf said, have since passed away, but many of their descendants attend, as well as some who are not descended from area residents, but moved to the area from elsewhere.

Still, Shoaf said the reunion usually draws a respectable crowd.

“We’ve had over 100 before,” she said. “Last year we probably had a smaller amount--there was probably 50 to 75 people.”

Reunion attendees will enjoy a potluck lunch accompanied by music, swimming in a spring-fed pond and lots of reminiscing, conversation and catching up, Shoaf said.

Though most of those who remember Grand and Day County are no longer around, many good stories of the area during that time survive, Shoaf said.

In addition to Sunday’s activities, Shoaf said there is a three-day, two-night trail ride that precedes the reunion.

The trail ride begins Friday at Camargo and follows the path of the South Canadian River, ending at Old Grand Sunday prior to the reunion.

According to Shoaf, the ride simulates a real, old-time trail experience.

“They spend the night along the way going down the South Canadian River,” Shoaf said.

“They have somebody that...pulls a chuckwagon, cooks for them,” Shoaf said.

“They come in through the South Canadian Pasture up to the pond,” Shoaf said.

Depending on the weather and the amount of water in the river, Shoaf said, the number of riders varies.

“They’ve had probably as many as 200 horse riders at a time,” Shoaf said, adding that with a fair amount of water in the river, there might be fewer riders this year, though the weather being cooler than normal might offset excess water, she said.

The potluck lunch will begin at 1 p.m. Shoaf said the event usually runs for a few hours, ending in the early afternoon. For more information contact Shoaf at (580) 885-7389 or Old Settlers Reunion President Max Miller at (580) 885-7666.

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