Carrollton Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day set for October 5-6

By AMANDA SEXTON FERGUSON,

With the annual Carrollton Pilgrimage, set for October 5 and 6, just a month away, organizers are working tirelessly to make this year’s event the best one yet.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Reivers,” a movie based on a William Faulkner novel of the same name which starred Steve McQueen, this year’s pilgrimage will be a celebration of Hollywood coming to Carroll County.

Over the years, Carroll County has been the location for several movies, including the blockbuster hit “The Help” (2011).  “The Reivers” (1969), which was filmed in Carrollton and in various locations around the county, was the first of many movies that have used the community’s historic charm as a backdrop for the silver screen.  Other movies filmed in Carroll County are “Nightmare in Badham County” (1976),  “The Minstrel Man” (1977), “Mississippi Burning” (1988), “The Sound and the Fury” (2015), and “The Duel” (2016).

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Reivers,” this year’s pilgrimage will feature a walking tour of filming locations in town as well as a special showing of the movie at the Tabernacle at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 6.

According to Carrollton Mayor Pam Lee, the town received special permission to show the film.  And as seeing the annual pilgrimage is a celebration of the local community, the many “extras” from area used in the film will be recognized at the showing.

 The members of the Carrollton North Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department will be handling the concessions as a fundraiser for the department.

Of course, “The Reivers” celebration is not the only draw to this year’s event.  The home tour will include two homes not previously open in the past.

Lee said Campbell Cottage, located on Highway 35 North, and the Bole House, located on County Road 316, will be open this year.  In addition to the new additions, the Helm House, Lum Reek, and Shadesrest, all located in town, will be open for tours.

Also, Cotesworth, the ancestral home of Senator J.Z. George, a U.S. Senator and primary author of Mississippi’s 1890 constitution, and its private library will be open as part of the tour.  Cotesworth is known to many outside the borders of Carroll County.  It was used in filming “The Help,” “The Sound and the Fury,” and “Nightmare in Badham County.”

Tours of Cotesworth are included in the cost of the pilgrimage tour or $10 at the door.

The town’s historic churches will also be open to the public, as well as Gee’s Mercantile, Peoples Bank and Trust, and the Masonic Lodge.

It wouldn’t be a Carrollton Pilgrimage without the Pioneer Day Festival on the historic Carrollton square.  The square will be filled with vendors, selling everything from handcrafted items to good food.  And as guests browse the various booths, live music will be performed on the courthouse lawn.

Lee said music this year will be provided by Ben Peyton Wiley and his Thundering Harp band, as well as Sam Wooden, and Jim Garrett. 

Also scheduled to perform, Mississippi Storyteller Rebecca Jernigan will be telling some of William Faulkner’s other stories set in Jefferson.

Also at this year’s Pilgrimage:

The Miss Pioneer Day pageant is set for September 22.  For pageant information, contact Shonda Milton at 601-594-7576.

Carrollton Baptist Church is selling tickets to a chicken spaghetti lunch on Friday, October 5.  Tickets will be pre-sold, so call the church office at 662-237-9351 to reserve yours.

A pancake breakfast will be held at the Masonic Lodge on Saturday, October 6.

Guests are urged to download the Town of Carrollton’s walking tour app free of charge from The App Store or Google Play.  The app, narrated by Walt Grayson, gives historic and architectural details about 25 historic places in the town of Carrollton.

The Carroll County Dulcimer Club will be performing on Saturday, October 6 at the Hart House across from the Carrollton Presbyterian Church.

For more information about the Carrollton Pilgrimage, vendor registration, ticket information, or how you can be involved, call Lee at 662-237-6910 or visit VisitCarrolltonMS.com.