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Riders from near and far made their way to Rome over the weekend for the 39th Annual John Wisdom Wagon Train to commemorate the path of John Wisdom, known as “Georgia’s Paul Revere” who warned Rome of impending attack by Union forces in May of 1863. (From left) Rod Simmons, Danny Van Fleet, Billy Puryear and Peyton Hamilton at the head of the trail ride. / Steven Eckhoff

Saddle up for the final year of the John Wisdom Wagon Train and Billy Puryear Ride. The public is invited to help celebrate 40 Years of revisiting the heroic path of John Wisdom by lining Broad Street and cheering on participants of the Wagon Train.

The parade will begin between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. The route starts at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Broad Street and travels north down Broad Street to Rome City Hall where the steps will be decorated to serve as a parade stand.  Parade spectators are encouraged to line the street along the parade path. The parade stand in front of Rome City Hall will be reserved for past Heritage Holiday Committee Members. Nelle Reagan will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. The Grand Marshal of the parade is Mike McDougald.

Everyone is invited to continue the celebration after the ride for the cowboy dance and concert featuring Scott Thompson & Friends at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds. Tickets are $5 each and are available at the gate. The event will be held at the Mather Payne Special Events Building from 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Participants are welcome to bring chairs and the event is BYOB. 

Wagon Train participants in the parade will follow at 16-mile course that revisits a portion of the heroic path of John Wisdom, known as “Georgia’s Paul Revere” who warned Rome of impending attack by Union forces in May of 1863. To participate in the ride, proof of completing the Coggins Test must be provided to representatives of the Georgia Department of Agriculture at the entry gate. The admission fee for adults is $10, children 12 years old and under is $5. A collector button is proof of paid admission and must be worn at all times during the event.  Admission and collector buttons are available exclusively at the Georgia's Rome Welcome Center and Gift Shop located at 402 Civic Center Drive.

 

The ride begins at 8:30 a.m. and will depart from the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, located at 1400 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Rome, Ga. 30161. The ride will be police escorted with rolling road closures. The route will be within Floyd County lines and contains the following roads: Barron Road, Ward Mountain Road, Highway 53 South, North Avenue, Church Street, Riverside Parkway, Glenn Milner, 1st Avenue and Broad Street.

 

An account of the story of John Wisdom and a dramatic audio reenactment can be found at www.romegeorgia.org/civil-war/stories.

For more information about John Wisdom Wagon Train and Billy Puryear Ride call 706.295.5576.

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