Asleep At Wheel headlining Rockwall Founder’s Day celebration May 21

ROCKWALL – Area residents are invited to come celebrate the City of Rockwall’s 157th birthday May 21 at its “Founder’s Day” outdoor festival around the Historic County Courthouse in Old Downtown Rockwall.

Beginning at 10 am, there will be vendor booths, children’s activities, good food and entertainment, according to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Headlining this year’s concert will be the nine-time, Grammy-winning, kings of Texas swing, “Asleep At The Wheel,” performing at 7 pm, with singer-songwriter Gary Nicholson.

Other bands performing will be Concho Grass, at 11 am; Django Walker, at 1:15 pm; and Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones, at 3:30 pm.

The Dallas Puppet Theater will perform at 10 am. For nearly 30 years the group has produced an ongoing series of family performances, performing an average of fifty weeks every year nationally and internationally as far away as Russia. They’ve amassed a collection of stories based on historical events, operas, original stories, and lighthearted adaptations of classic children’s literature.

Parking is free around the Square.

According to the Founder’s Day website, the area that is now Rockwall was occupied in the early 1800s by the Caddo and Creek Indian tribes. When the first Anglo settlers reached the area in the 1840s, they found the two tribes at war.

The National Road of the Republic of Texas was built through the area in the mid-1840s, and the new community was founded along this road.

Rockwall takes its name from an underground formation discovered by Terry Wade in 1852. Wade was digging a well near what is now the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market when he discovered the wall-like formation.

No one has ever determined if the wall is man-made or a natural formation.

Rockwall was officially platted as a community by Elijah Elgin on April 17, 1854, when he purchased a 40-acre tract from W.B. Bowles.

The area that became Rockwall was a small part of the 572-acre homestead of Benjamin F. Boydstun.

The Founders Day Festival was born when Rockwall celebrated its Sesquicentennial with a huge festival headlined by the Little River Band on April 17, 2004.

The Festival became an annual event when it moved to the Historic Downtown Square in 2005.

For information, visit www.rockwallfoundersday.com.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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