Jesse James Fest celebrates legend’s ties to Cement
The stories of Jesse James’ death are as controversial as his Western outlaw career, but that’s not going to stop one southwest Oklahoma town from celebrating its ties to the infamous legend.
Cement will host its second-annual Jesse James Festival and Car Show Saturday on Main Street. The event is hosted by the Cement Community Association.
“The first year turned out better than we thought,” Association President Erik Williams said of last year’s festival. “We had maybe 500 people, which is pretty good for a first-time event.”
Jesse James historian Ron Pastore returns this year as a guest speaker. Pastore co-authored a book titled “Jesse James’ Secret: Codes, Cover-Ups and Hidden Treasure” and has been featured on the Discovery and Travel channels. He will give presentations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on James’s connection to the Cement area.
Author Freda Cruse Hardison will sell copies of her book, “Frank and Jesse James: ‘Friends and Family,’” as well as share stories and conduct research for an upcoming book on the outlaw.
This weekend’s festival also will feature mock gun fights by the Marlow Gunfighters, chicken bingo and an antique and vintage car show. Cowboy Town will set up a petting zoo, mechanical bull and barrel train for children to ride through the event.