The Doc Holliday: Saints and Sinners Festival is back for its fourth installment in Denison. The festival, which will be held Saturday, began in 2016 and celebrates early Denison heritage.
The event starts at 9 a.m. in downtown Denison and will include wagon rides, a parade, re-enactors, a play and more.
Here are five things to know about the Doc Holliday festival.
1. Gambling and dentistry have a connection
John Henry “Doc” Holliday was born in 1851 and was a marshal and participant in the OK Corral shootout in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. Prior to that, Doc Holliday spent some time in Denison. Aside from gambling, he also practiced dentistry while he was in the North Texas area.
During the showings of “Win, Lose, Draw,” event patrons will learn about Doc Holliday’s friendship with Wyatt Earp. The play will show at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Rialto Theater.
2. Mustache and beard competition
One of the biggest events during the annual festival is a competition that brings more than 20 bearded individuals to downtown. The mustache and beard competition has divisions relating to most unique, longest, best beard, and audience favorite.
The “Hootin Hollerin’ Beard and Mustache Contest” will be held at 2:30 p.m. in Heritage Park.
3. Remembering the period
Colonial attire was the dress of the day when Doc Holliday was visiting the dirt roads of Denison. Re-enactors, area residents and guests will take part in a best dressed contest at 4 p.m. in Heritage Park.
“We have quite a few more street performers this year,” Denison Main Street Director Donna Dow said Thursday. “We have jugglers, street performing activities, free wagon rides, children’s activities and more.”
4. Gun, guns and more guns
The Old West will be the subject of a lot of the events taking place. And while the re-enactors at Saturday’s event will be firing blanks, during the time of gunfights and wagon rides, the men and women of the area were firing live rounds.
“You can learn a lot from the re-enactors that will be on site,” Dow said “They have done a lot to really get into their characters and be historically accurate. Talk to them and have a picture taken with them. They know these trades and the people they are portraying.”
There are two gun fights slated to take place during the festival. At 1:30 p.m., the Heroes of the Old West will take part in the “The OK Corral” in Heritage Park. Then at 4:30 p.m., the Heroes of the Old West will meet again for “The Chicken Thieves” also at Heritage Park.
5. More than Doc Holliday
While Saturday’s festival will feature a lot of Doc Holliday-centered activities and history lessons, there will also be events detailing the history of Denison and its origins. Walking tours will take place every two hours starting at noon. The final tour will take place at 7 p.m.
“”We are printing about 20 tidbits of Denison history that we will be putting on the vacant storefronts,” Dow said. “That will be throughout the district. They are 11x14 decals on the windows and people can learn about Denison history while they are there.”
For a complete list and schedule of events, visit http://www.DenisonLive.com. The event is rain or shine and in case of inclement weather, many activities can be moved indoors.
Future Brown is the Lifestyles and Entertainment Editor for the Herald Democrat. She can be reached at SBrown@heralddemocrat.com.