The 8th Annual Pioneer Days & Rib Cook-Off event is slated for October 12 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Main Street in Porterville. 

Pioneer Days is the annual fundraiser for the Zalud House Museum and is hosted by the City of Porterville Parks & Leisure Services and the Jackass Mail Run. Downtown Porterville will be transformed into a vision of the past with plenty of fun for the whole family.

Centennial Park will be home to the 10H Outfitters and Buffalo Soldier Mounted Calvary Unit encampment. Learn to play card games fancied by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday with special guest, gambler and cowboy actor, Pico Pistolero, inside the Saloon. Other attractions will include the Pioneer Days Little Miss and Junior Miss Pageants, Horse Drawn Vehicle Rides, Wild West Scavenger Hunt, Birds of Prey Exhibit, Crown Valley Youth Ranch and Furry Friends, Pioneer Jail, Live Shoot Out at high noon by the jackass Mail Run, vendors, food and the highly anticipated Rib Cook-Off competition. There’s also the Kids Corral for kids where they can learn to rope, paint a pumpkin courtesy of the Porterville Museum and much more.

One of the major fundraisers and featured aspect of Pioneer Days is the Rib Cook-Off. This year, there are more than 20 teams competing for cash prizes and the coveted People’s Choice trophy. Each team will be preparing and barbecuing racks of ribs in the style and flavor of their choice. The community is welcome to cruise up and down Main Street to sample the variety of ribs and vote for their favorite. Rib tasting tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. at the Parks & Leisure Booth across from City Hall and will be $2 each while supplies last (1 ticket equals1 rib). The Rib Cook-Off is supported by the Fraternal Order of Eagles and all proceeds go to protecting and preserving the Zalud House Museum. Winners of the cook-off will be announced at the Main Street Stage when final results are in. Winners will win their share of the $1,200 in prize money.

Another huge fundraising component of Pioneer Days are the Little Miss and Junior Miss Pioneer Days Pageants. The Main Street stage will be host to the pageants, where 14 contestants, ages 3-9 years old, will be competing for the 2019 title, sash and crown or trophy. Judging criteria will be based on each contestant’s personality, stage presence, western costume and tickets sales.

The 2019 Pioneer Days contestants are: Junior Miss Pioneer Days — Abigail Chappell, 9, Payton Davis, 8, Addyson Johnson, 9, and Jeanette Pierce, 9. 

Little Miss Pioneer Days — Ellie Beaty, 4, Lillyanne Beaty, 6, Aubrey Rose Castillo, 6, Londyn Helms, 5, Kennedy Hunt, 5, Riley Rice, 4, Kandria Russell, 5, Braelynn Thomas, 4, Melanie Torres, 5, and Eris Vieyra, 3.

Major sponsors of the 2018 Pioneer Days are Crane’s Towing, Eagle Mountain Casino, R.M. Parks, Setton Farms and J&R Meat Co. Other contributing sponsors include Chiapa Welding, Walmart and Carol (Zalud) Swain.

The event schedule is: 10:55 a.m. National Anthem; 11 a.m. Pioneer Days begin; 11:30 a.m. Junior Miss Pioneer Days Pageant; noon Live Shoot; 12:30 p.m. Little Miss Pioneer Days Pageant; 3 p.m. Pioneer Days conclude.

For more information, call (559) 791-7697 or visit

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