It’s a story of bunnies and Indians, history and legend, and the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association, Inc., is rekindling the telling of that chapter in local history with the presentation of the Easter Fires of Fredericksburg Pageant.
The pageant will be presented on Easter Eve, Saturday, March 30, beginning at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.) at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds in Fredericksburg.
The rekindling of the pageant in 2013 is part of the year-long celebration to mark the 125th Gillespie County Fair, which takes place Aug. 22-25.
General admission for the Easter Fires of Fredericksburg Pageant is $10 for adults, $1 for children six to 12 years of age and free for children under six. Box seat tickets are available for $15.
Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the Gillespie County Fair Grounds at 830-997-2359.
The script for the pageant was written by the late William (Bill) Petmecky, who also authored, Legendary Tales, Easter Fires of Fredericksburg.
The legend of the Easter Fires centers around a pioneer mother in Fredericksburg as she tries to calm her frightened children who were wondering about the huge fires blazing on the hills.
This was at the time when the colonists and their leader, John O. Meusebach, had gone to the San Saba River to meet the Indian chiefs to make a peace treaty, which to this day has not been broken.
In the meantime, other Indians kept watch on the hills surrounding Fredericksburg and they transmitted their messages by smoke signals. When word reached them of the honesty and sincerity of the colonists, they burned their fires high as a sign to the Indians that all was well.
The pioneer mother told her children that the Easter rabbit was placing eggs into huge kettles that were boiling over the fires. She explained that the rabbit was coloring them with wildflowers and that if they would go to sleep, they would find the eggs in their “nests” at the cabin door on Easter morning.
Scenes from the pageant include live bunnies hatching from a big red Easter egg; finding carrots in the flowers and bunnies dancing the “Herr Schmidt” to their own Bunny Brass Band; a working Indian village concerned over the lack of rain; the Indian Braves dancing around the fires, and little girl Bluebonnets dancing with other little girl wildflowers.
Also, pioneers on their way to find a location for the city of Fredericksburg, bringing their only belongings on wagon, horses and carts; building a church and log cabin; meeting the Indians; the mother telling the Easter Fires story, and the minister ringing the original chapel bell.
For more information, contact the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association at 830-997-2359 or visit their website at gillespiefair.com.